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MKROCOPy RtSOlUTION TBT CHART 

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J x^PPLIED IM^GE In 



165J Eosl Main Street 

Rochester, New York 1*609 USA 

(716) 482-0300- Phone 

(716) 288- 5989 - Fax 



A STAINED GLASS TOUR 
IN ITALY 



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STAINED GLASS TOURS IN FRANCE 

STAINED GLASS TOURS IN ENGLAND 



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A STAINED GLASS 
TOUR IN ITALY 

By Charles Hitchcock Sherrill 
With Thirty.three Illustrations 



LONDON . JOHN LANt THE BODLEV HEAD 
NEW YORK: THE JOHN LANE COMPANY 
TORONTO : BELL & COCKBURN. MCMXIII 



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NK 

5352 
Al 
S53 
1913 



SCOTT 



WILLIAM CLOWIS AMD SONS, UMITBD, LONDON AND ■KCLU 



TO 

HIS EXCELLENCY 
ROQUE SAENZ PERa 

PRESIDENT OF THE ARCSNTINI REPUBLIC 

FOR MANY YEARS ARGENTINE 

MINISTER TO ITALY 



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FOREWORD 

DO you love a glowing sunset ? Of course 
you do— and why? Is it not because 
the charm that reaches out to you from 
its mass of colour is shot through with 
light ? That same charm, produced by the same 
blending of light with colour, lies imprisoned in 
windows of stained glass, and best in those which 
have come down to us from the Middle 
Ages, mellowed by the centuries through which 
their rich beauty has been preserved. If you will 
come with us to see the old windows of Italy 
we will take you up and down the land, and 
to most of the famous cities of that historical 
peninsula. You shall visit impregnable hill-towns, 
great cities built upon the plain, Venice, Queen 
of the Adriatic, and Rome, the Immortal. We 
shall often .vander from the beaten track, indeed 
we shall deliberately seek to withdraw ourselves 
as much as we may into the far-away Middle 
Ages, hoping thus to obtain a living sense of 

vii 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

the time and the surroundings of the men who 
made these wonderful windows. We shaU con- 
sort with sutesmen, monks, warriors, jurists, 
despots, diplomats, artists—all sorts and conditions 
of mediaeval manhood. The Italy that we shall 
see will not be the Italy of most tourists, for our 
vision of it will be softened and warmed by the 
many hues of its glorious glass. 

CHARLES HITCHCOCK SHERRILL 

ao, Ea»t 65TH Strbet 
New York City 
Dtetmbtr ut, 191a 



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CONTENTS 



Introovctiok 
Itinirary 

ROMB 

Okvibto 

PiRVOIA 

Ammi 

CORTOKA 

Arizzo 
Florimcb . 
San Miniato 
Val d'Ema 
Prato 

LVCCA 

Fma . 

&INA. 

Bologna 

Venice 

Milan 

Certosa di Pavia 



3 
ii 
38 
46 
53 
57 
63 
7» 
78 

lOI 

106 
III 
116 

«*S 
133 
"4* 
150 

157 
166 



It 



4 



m 



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



rACINO PAOI 

30 



WiNf«w or 1560, Cartoja in the Val DEma /•««,„*.• 

b broken to .vcM n««,<«oB» rfpl^ltaTliSJ;."'*" ''" ""•"""•y Ih. kord^ 

Typical Occhio, or Eye Window 

«wl in Northmi Korop? T* ' iSjUn. (hiSS; '''°'r "J ..'."I" ''•""" 
«k.lr royp. 10 . efrcX^. ••(i„;i7/j^'' »««•"»' 'k"" 'n .djiuiing 

I Mosaics at St. Paul's, Rome 
I Santa Ma«ia del Pofolo, Rome 

The <^Kare pMllion of the window 

Western Facade. Orvieto Cathedral 

.bo.. Se'i?'&icSrof:sj..te.s'e X%r„-:^,r?^"^jr'^ 

Interior of Orvieto Cathedral 

East Window of St. Dominic, Peiuria 

^i s^iLVe-s.-^"- .He'^u'idS.s' ^&'-i„«:;:iii; -y^t: rs; 




The Lower Church, Ass£<i . 



♦o 



44 



46 



SO 



54 



58 



^ leries 

indow<; 



XI 






A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 



Tmi Upm, Chukm. Ami., 






rf''SiJ^J?J!5'J!l«5«fc^.M 



Chu.cm AT Calc,n,wo. CoaroN. 



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iit«l pieiur*. 



Tl>* |Uh in III* 



Intirior op Santa t'Roct 
Wi««,», ,« On S«» MicH,,,, 

Laurentian Library 
San Miniato al Monte . 
Interior of San Miniato 



9» 



94 



9( 



100 



lot 



104 



Certosa, Val DEma 



'"'"'^5^i&^j:j?-f^st»{j^ 



CHoiple ol 
Agci 



Prato Cathedral 



s long departed Middle 



^^^^^^^^^^s::^^B^ 



lot 



111 






I) 



List of Illustrations 



IHTIUM or P«*TO CATI.ID«At . '**'"* '*" 

San Martimo, Li/c< \ 

iNTiaioK or San Mahtino, Lucca 

PlAIZA OIL DUOMO, PlIA 
Il(TE«IO« or PlJA CATHtDRAL . 

CArHiD«AL or Siena 

■■bkloui plu wu ktcr di<cwJ«d. ^^^^^ * ""«" •«■«•. whkh oion 
Interim, Siena Cathedral . 

o*N Petronio, Boloona . 
San Petroio, Bologna . 

the many w pleatini in tbU city. ""■" '^''"" »bove, on* of 

Mosaics in Torcello Cathedral 

wWow th.^y.«,Un. outline. Mr^iiy .JftSKS'^^rS^^*"*" '^ 

Eastern End of Milan Cathedral 

■aiddle of the^ window, to bdance th.i?Vr«l hSijK!""" ""'*" •"»» '"« 

xiii 



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A Stained Glass T^ur in Italy 



Interior OF THE Transept, Milan Cathedral . 

of the cfcrMtorlriShS!'^ '"'"'"*'"""'■'"«'>««»««»« ^iiS 



PACING rAOB 



Certosa di Pavia 

This 



Interior, Certosa di Pavia 

the eniemble. "'^" 'on'nonte so greatly to the richness of 



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A STAINED GLASS TOUR 
IN ITALY 






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A STAINED GLASS TOUR 
IN ITALY 

INTRODUCTION 

transport oursdvcs Lk^"' .^ " •""■"'. "> 
of Italy was , T ^ " '""' "'"" '»'='■ «ty 

Florentine I G^r^ '«^"'"''. ->- to J 

F'orentinc with tie «1 1' ■ !"" '^"^h. .he 

- «.. .ai .ha. site of I " ^ ''^ "'"^ 
aiSbrences be^een .rana t' "r';'?" 

3 



i/-'. 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

each upon its rocky eminence, and Lucca and Pisa 
on their flat plains nestling for protection, the 
former within her earthworks and the latter her 
machicolated walls. Compare Florence comfortably 
ensconced within encircling hills, with Arezzo and 
Assisi straggling up steep slopes. What two 
countries in the world can show such a contrast 
as exists between Venice in its lagoons and 
Rome on her seven hills ? Let us sally forth, 
therefore, not with a mind to visit happily united 
and strongly patriotic Italy, but on a tour among 
many strangely difFering Italian fatherlands. Let 
us abandon the century in which we live, and 
journey back into the times when artistic creation 
of unparalleled brilliance, and life of keenest 
vitality were at fever pitch. Although stained 
glass, the main incentive for our wanderings, is a 
beauty whose chief characteristic is calm splendour 
nevertheless that same calm splendour came into 
being in turbulent times. Perhaps its very beauty 
is due to the fact that in those ringing days the 
blood of all ran high, and urged to utmost en- 
deavour the artist as well as the warrior and 
statesman. 

Many of those who decide to join us in our 

4 



Introduction 

stained glass pilgrimage will prefer to travel by rail 
between the cities which they select as centres. 
These pilgrims will be glad to learn that motors 
can be hired in every town of any importance, and 
at reasonable rates. To those who elect to desert 
the railway in favour of the high-road, we have to 
say that, on the whole, Italian roads are good. The 
•marked exceptions are in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the Ir/ger cities, where repairs seem never 
able to keep up with the rav es of heavy market 
carts. But this is true of the environs of cities 
everywhere, except those of London, whose bliss- 
fully smooth exits are beloved of all motorists. In 
Italy you will not encounter the straight "routes 
nationales " of France, disdainfiil of grade in their 
devotion to "the shortest line between two given 
points." Neither will you find the frequent wind- 
ings which in England incline one to surmise that 
the roads must be put up in papers o'nights, else 
the dampness of the climate would take out their 
superabundance of curi. Speaking broadly, the 
Italian roads are neither so good as the English 
(which, by the way, are constantly improving), nor 
so bad as the French ones are rapidly becoming. 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

«U«%lL'TX' '"'" °' ^"""' '"" English 

• *ne examples are not sufficienHv 

T of the m towns of Umbria, ,h. citie, of 

"l-ich n.ea„, .t"l,if ""'" "^^ "' "^^• 

, «"« of ««„„c memories, which will rejoice him 
W^«hi„U„hu„,i„,da,,i„I.„hlve'c:: 

do „^ r '"'"' T "" ""^ "'"' «° efa» hunting 
; "« "> vc to depend on fine weather. I„d„d 

r„ ^'""^•^•-"'"''-■oudsob.u^the 

le ; H :."'"' "■' "" ™" "■' --^ of ',ving 

om= good w,ndow spoiled for ,ou b, , bla.e of 

■ght co^ng through it, making its colours look 

~p*ry. Soafigfortheweatherlandoff 






Introduction 

A brief but comprehensive comment upon 
Italian glass can be made in two sentences: first, 
that it began later and finished earlier than in most 
European countries; and second, that it never 
yielded itself to the craze for the stiff conventions 
and light-admitting possibilities of the so-called 
••canopy glass" which throughout the rest of 
Europe ran to such an extreme, and was co long 
popular. What is meant by canopy glass will be 
presently explained in as untechnical a manner as 
possible. It is the purpose of this book to persuade 
its readers to see and therefore to enjoy the beauty 
of stained glass, and not to oppress them with the 
technique of its construction. 

The earliest sort of stained glass which we shall 
observe is of a kind known all over Europe, and 
generaUy called "mosaic," because the 

, . . „ "Mosaic"' 

designs are similar to those used in all «'»»* 
early mosaics, and because it too was constructed 
by putting together small fragments of coloured 
glass. It is only fair to make special mention of 
these early windows because our craft was really an 
oflTshoot from mosaic making ; instead of affixing to 
the waU a mosaic picture the new craft purposed so 
placing it in a window embrasure that the light 

7 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

could shine through it, and thereby double the 
value of the colour. We cannot lay too much 
stress upon this last idea. After all possible has 
been said about the design of a window, its surcess, 
'n the last analysis, depends almost exclusively on 
.ts colour value. Nor must it be forgotten that 
this IS the only one of the arts from which we 
receive not only the enjoyment which colour can 
afford, but also the added pleasure of light stream- 
ing through it. Together, they yield a glowing 
harmony, each glorifying the other. 

In the early days of stained glass there also 
existed a contemporary practice of filling an em- 
Alabaster brasure with some such translucent sub- 
Stance as alabaster. Of this other form 
of glazing we shall see several examples during 
our travels, and shall learn to love the mysterious 
shifting of soft tints, so especially delightfUl at 
San Miniato and Orvieto. 



Let us put ourselves in the place of a very early 
stained glass maker. Granted that the mosaicist 
provided him with the design for his picture to be 

8 



a 



\ I 






Introduction 

composed of bits of coloured glass, how was he 
going to support in his window frame something 
which had hitherto been fastened to the wall? 
Some device must be invented to bind these bits 
of glass together. In some cases a form of stucco 
was used, but to hold the panes securely the stucco 
lines had to be too wide, so the glazier hit upon 
using strips of lead with long slender channels cut 
in each side. These could be wound around 
between the bits of glass as demanded by the design, 
and the edges of the glass would fit into the slits 
on each side of the lead. The lead lines did not 
injure the picture, but on the contrary, assisted the 
drawing by providing the outlines, etc. The leaden 
strips were easy to handle, held the glass securely, 
and so helped in the design that they were more or 
less lost to view in the picture. Nothing could 
have been better. The finished product was lifted 
from the flat board on which the bits of glass had 
been assembled and leaded together ; it was fastened 
into the window embrasure, and there was the 
early stained glass window ! In its primitive charm 
it yielded a beauty which many believe was never 
afterwards surpassed, even during the epoch of the 
utmost refinement of the craft. Fortunately, it was 






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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

not necessary specially to educate window designers, 
MoMid.t. ^°'' '° '"'de-spread was the art of mosaic 
Sz'm. ""^ therefore so nunierous were the artists 
engaged in its manufiwture that by borrow- 
ing designers of them, stained glass was in its 
very beginnings as fiiUy equipped as was Minerva 
when she sprang from the forehead of Jove. This 
explains why in even the earliest windows the art 
seems well advanced and far from crude. Because 
designers already existed in plenty, eager to lend 
their gifts to this new beauty, stained glass spread 
rapidly. The art of mosaic making came into 
Italy and Europe from the east and its early 
designs naturally arc of the rigid Lyzantine type. 
This same eastern influence evidences itself in all 
the early windows, and afl=brds proof— if proof be 
necessary— that the master of mosaic welcomed this 
additional field for the expression of his artistic 
spirit. 

It is the custom not only to call this early type 

mosaic, but also to speak of its windows as « mosaic 

medallions";— a glance at them makes 

" Mosaic u ■ L 

medaiiion " ODvious the rcason for this name. Their 
^"* general effect is that of a series of medal- 

lion-like enclosures breaking up the whole surface 

lO 



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Introduction 

into little framed Kenes, and thus preventing what 
might otherwise be rt monotonous array ot* diminu* 
tive persons. In Italy, the shapes of the medallion 
frames are more ^ai'ied and fantastic than the sedate 
circles, ovals, and squares, so customary in France 
and England. The diminutive denizens of these 
medallion ^rames are generally depicted in such 
quaint detail as to repay close examination. They 
revral that the artist was painstaking, and did not 
spare time or trouble 'i complet'ng his picture, 
for the winding in and about of his slender leaden 
strips was very laborious. As is frequently the 
case in art, this very labour had its reward, for 
it is undeniable that the greater the care shown by 
the glazier in drawing his figures with lead lines, 
the more effective the completed picture. The 
later the glass the less was the attention paid to this 
&ct. In most late Renaissance windows the lead 
lines were allowed to run nbout at random, thus 
becoming a blemish instead of being lost in the 
beauty to which they should have contributed. 

It is clear that the larger the pieces of glass used 
in composing the picture the less of this ^,^,^5^ ^^yj^ 
laborious lead winding would be required, abandoned. 
and for this reason the glazier gradually developed 

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A Stained Gla., Tour i„ lta|„ 

«wr from the uie of .m.li i 

^r him from ,he "1 """ «'•" "•"«■•. '««»«) 

".. n,o«ic ' "r""- .^'' """""■"«« " 
'■on. of ,fcl° '7 "« -""W i„ ,h. ,i„i„. 

now to pamt , , broad colour. -n. 
'••I'an p„„,c„ „,„ o colour,. The 

">■•» new medium „f "'' "«"'«''« of 

'o .dv,„ce our "1ft b? *"""' """• ''"'*^ 

^■•'Xc^n, or,? t^^He''^ *'«"«■•" 
"wtoon,." F„ „f,,„,^. ""• «'""»«y caUed, 

did the leadinT "" "^^ **'" •''""ere 

' 'Muing pamters thus It^^ .i. • . 

'o .Uined gla,,. while i„ the north " *"'" 

«>•- tended to monopoi, el :;:::"•"•' 

«-cIl a, constructing L win wrSl''"^"'"* 
"'-pri.ng that the Italian paint -r,::;::^':: 
...„ ^f;^-'««-.<-or,he,po„ej:^^ 

-.otherXr^i^xrhr^"^™"" 

^^«x peculiar, e::^:^t,er;r ""^'• 

"ver«.ili,y is «ldom given "n ""■"- 
'•» protected labour."' ;:r o^" """'' "'""■ 

satisfied to be a en • v ^^"^ ^<=<^nied 

P«nt.ng, sculpture, architecture, and 



12 



Introduction 

every other manifesution of trtistic talent. In 
Florence many of the splendid windows of the 
cathedral owe their beauty to men who had also 
attained distinction in other arts, like Lorenzo 
Ghiberti, Donatello, etc. In our travels, we shall 
encounter Michael Angelo as a designer of windows 
as weU as a painter, architect, warrior,''and sculptor. 
Lorenzo Ghil^erti was not content to be one of 
the architects of the Florentine Duomo, but also 
contributed much of her stained glass, and had 
already won immortal fame at eighteen with his 
bronze doors of the Baptistery opposite. When 
Leonardo da Vinci was seeking to enter the service 
of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, he wrote 
a letter in which he urged his case on the ground 
that he was net '.'y a p^iiifcr and sculptor but 
also an architect and a military, as well as a 
hydraulic, engineer !— we also know that he won 
wide praise for his success in organizing state 
pageants, and drew what is probably the earliest 
plan for an aeroplane. 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

So much for the period known as "mosaic 
medallion." It began later in Italy than in the 
north, but it also lasted longer. We shall first 
see It at Assisi, dating from the end of the 13th 
century, nearly two hundred years later than it is 
to be found in France and England, and when, in 
these two countries, its vogue was waning. On the 
other hand, in Italy the mosaic medallions persisted 
untd the third quarter of the uth century, for the 
wmdows at the Lower Church of Assisi and in the 
Cathedrals at Orvieto and Siena date from about 
1370. This is much later than they continued in 
France and England, where they had long given 
place to the craze for canopy windows. 

This brings us to the next step in the deve- 
lopment of windows and at the same time to the 
"Canopy parting of the ways between Italian elass 

windows. „„J *u ... r 11 . S'"" 

and that of all other European countries. 

In the north, the so-called canopy window had 

begun a .way which was to last nearly two 

centuries, but not so in Italy. A canopy window 

IS one m which a coloured figure or group appears 

instaUed within a more or less elaborate shrine or 

niche, which latter is always (out of Italy) glared 

in lightly tinted panes showing littl 



e or no colour. 



14 



Introduction 

It may be laid down as a general rule that the 
Italian never really accepted the light-tinted, con- 
ventional canopy of the north. But it is also true 
that about his figures he often placed a bit of 
architectural detail, though with him this archi- 
tecture was as rich in colour as the garments of 
his saint. Thus in Italy, the canopy is part of 
the picture, and does not degenerate into a mere 
frame as it did in the north. Now there problem of 
was a reason for this difference, to under- '""mination. 
stand which let us first consider what happened 
in northern Europe. The early mosaic windows 
required in their construction such a multiplicity of 
lead lines, and their glass was of such deep hues, 
that together they greatly diminished the light of 
the interiors. In some places, as at Amiens and 
Chartres, the monks deliberately knocked out 
enough of the coloured glass to admit sufficient 
light to enable them to read the music of the 
Mass. This need for light was brought home to 
the glazier, and he solved the problem in an 
ingenious manner. Even on the earliest windows 
there sometimes appeared small yellow tabernacles 
enclosing the figves, and he began his campaign 
for more illumination by enlarging the space allotted 

'5 



py 



♦ u 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

to these tabernacles which he glazed in delicate 
t.nts. Although this expedient proved successful, 
he earned his success to an extreme. Lucky chance 
a.ded him, for early in the r4th century it was 
accidentally discovered that if a solution of silver 
were dropped or smeared on white glass and then 
exposed to the fire it produced a permanent golden 
stam on the surface. This greatly facilitated the 
construction of canopies about the figures, because 
.t was no longer necessary to lead together bits 
of yellow glass to represent architecture, for yellow 
could be stained on white panes wherever desired. 
To such an extreme was this style carried that in 
some French windows fully four-fifths of the whole 
surface is given over to canopy framing and only 
one-fifth left to the saint, located in the midst of 
all this shimmering magnificence. In the cloudy 
northern lands this freer admission of light was 
expedient and valuable, but in sunny Italy it was 
not necessary. No demands were made upon the 
!Z^ ^^I'^n gla^ier for more light, and perhaps 
cajiopics in ^r this reason, if for no other, he never 
"^- went canopy mad. A few of these light- 

admitting sentry boxes are to be seen in Italy, but 
only a few, and they are confined to the closing 

i6 



Introduction 

'cars of the 14th century. In northern Europe 
the simulated architecture of these shrine-like 
enclosures was of course Gothic during the Gothic 
period, but changed to Classical when the Renai 
sance won over the architect to the re-contemplation 
and copying of early Greek and Latin edifices. It 
is only fair to admit on behalf of the northerner 
that not being blessed with the constant Italian 
sunshine, he needed this light-admitting device so 
that his interiors should not be too much obscured 
by the coloured windows. When, in 1632, Henry 
Sherfield, the Recorder of Salisbury, destroyed the 
Creation window in St. Edmund's Church, he 
alleged as his reason for so doing that it was " very 
darksome whereby such as sit near the same cannot 
read in their books." It is satisfactory to record 
that he was imprisoned, fined ;^5oo, and made '.o 
apologise to the Bishop of Salisbury ! Before leaving 
this subject of church illumination, we may remark 
that during the mosaic period there was a marked 
difference between the French preference for 
coloured glass and the more frequent use in cloudy 
England of uncoloured pattern windows called 
"grisaille." Italian churches demanded less light 
than French ones, but England needed even more 

17 c 






ill! 





1 1 jlM 


; : ij: 


■ If'' S 



ij 



rt: 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

light than France, and therefore the English glazier 
intelligently or intuitively (who shall say which ?) 
inclined as much to grisaille as did the Italian to 
rich colour. 

There is another convincing explanation for the 

rich hues of the Italian canopies' architecture. To 

eyes accustomed lo the dull srey stone 

Rich colour o / 

of Italian of northern cathedrals there comes as a 

canopies. 

surprise the kaleidoscope of coloured 
marbles to be seen throughout Italy, and especially 
in Florence, Orvieto, and Siena ; — what is more 
natural than that the glazier should reproduce their 
warm tones in the edifices depicted on his windows ? 
But whatever be the reason, the result is undeniably 
delightful. Certain examples in Bologna, Lucca, 
and Florence must be seen to enable one to realize 
the deep, rich brilliancy of the canopy as developed 
under Italian skies by men quick to grasp the 
possibilities of the medium in which they were i 
working. We will remember therefore that the 
Gothic canopy of yellow and grey appeared but 
briefly in Italy, and was then squeezed in between 
a late lingering survival of the mosaic medallion, 
and an early appearance of a long-persisting classical 



canopy done, not in 



yellow 
i8 



stain, but in rich 



Introduction 

pot-metal colour. So justly successful in popular 
esteem was this strong-toned canopy that it lasted 
all through the 15th century, and practically con- 
cluded the course of the Italian spirit in glass. 



m 

m 



We say " Italian spirit," for the last period 
of glass making in the peninsula was but a 
brief revival at the beginning of the ,4^^ cemur>- 
1 6th century efFec'ed by the trans- s'"'- 
planted Frenchman, William de Marc'.Uat and 
his school, and thus received its impetus rather 
from without than from within. Although he 
learned his rich colouring in Italy, his style was 
undoubtedly French. It must, however, be 
admitted that nothing so fine in Renaissance glass 
is to be seen out of Italy as William's windows 
at Arezzo. Now let us consider this ultimate 
stage of the evolution of our art, when the 
glazier frankly becomes secondary to cne painter, 
which development in Italy took place during 
the first years of the i6th century. His em- 
brasures have gradually become wider, and arc 
now filled with broad pictures made up of 

^9 



I' 1 



ri 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

larger pieces of glass than were formerly used. 
Perspective begins to appear and at once enhances 
the general effect. Nor docs the artist now 
hesitate to paint his picture on these larger pieces, 
rather than have it made up for him of different 
bits of glass already coloured and assembled in 
accordance with his designs. This painting, or 
rather enamelling, was effected by disposing 
colour on white glass which when fired retained 
the tones and tints thus lent it. Sometimes this 
method proved unfortunate ; at Bologna we shall 
see some windows whose effect has been seriously 
damaged by the peeling off of portions of the 
enamelled colour. 



This reference to the changed method of 
colouring that came into vogue in Italy with 
Colouring ^^^ arrival of the i6th century will 
perhaps excuse a modest infraction of 
our rule to avoid technicalities. Let us explain 
m a few words the successive manners by which 
the glazier imparted colour to his glass. In the 
earliest days dye was put into the pot in which 

20 




Introduction 

the liquid glass was being made, and the product 
was called "pot-metal" glass; it was ..p^,^^j^, 
obviously coloured all through its mass. «»^°"'"" 
The surface of the windows were not as yet 
obscured by paint, and it is to this fact that 
they owe their delightful brilliancy. The use 
of a little pigment was permitted to delineate 
the faces, and sometimes to mark the folds of 
garments, etc. Another reason for the brilliancy 
of pot-metal windows is the uneven diffusion of 
the colouring matter throughout each piece of 
glass so treated. This made impossible the dull 
even tone which so often mars modern work. 
The early glazier was keenly alive to the value 
of this unevenness of tint, and availed himself of 
it both in his shading and to strengthen his 
masses. One of the great charms of Italian glass 
is that it clung to the use of pot-metal colour- 
ing much longer than was the fashion elsewhere 
in Europe. There was thus prolonged in it the 
life of the rich, deep tone, undimmed by surface 
daubing, which, although it assisted the designer, 
robbed the glazier of his richest effects. . , 

o several coats 

Before leaving pot-metal colouring it is °*'f'>'o">'- 
interesting to note a device by means of which 

21 



t ."! 



"mgm 



MMtfi 



'h 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

the glazier learned to enrich his palette. Sup- 
pose he wanted a warm purple, he first dipped 
his blow-pipe into red pot-metal fluid, and next 
into blue. When the bubble was blown, cut, 
and flattened out, the glass would prove to be 
blue on one side and red on the other, but held 
up to the light, the combination would yield the 
desired purple. In the same manner blue and 
yellow gave a fine green, red and yellow a deep 
orange, etc. To such an extent was this re- 
dipping carried that in France there are to be 
seen examples with as many as five different 
layers. This, of course, was still within the 
province of pot- metal colouring. Now for some- 
Yeiiow ^'^'"g "cw. We have already mentioned 
""'"• that in the early part of the 14th 

century it was accidentally discovered that if 
oxide of silver were dropped on glass it would, 
when fired, give a rich, gold tint called "stain." 
This at once sprang into great favour, and was 
useful for tinting the hair of angels, decorating 
garments, etc., and particularly assisted the 
development of the canopy. It was a great 
convenience to be able to stain any desired 
portion of the piece of glass instead of having 

22 



H I 



i 



Introduction 

laboriously to lead in some yellow glass at that 
particular point We shall observe this yellow 
stain much used in Italian bcrc'ers. The honour 
of discovering this stain io claimed for manj 
glaziers, and although the Italians stoutly insisted 
that its discoverer was St. J&Ties of Ulm, so long 
a resident at Bologna, it is undoubtedly true 
that it was in use fully a century before he was 
born. No matter who deserves the glory of 
this useful discovery, it had a marked effect on 
the development of the craft, because it made 
easy many of its details. Even art is some- 
times guilty of proceeding in the line of least 
resistance ! 

The last manner of colouring glass was that 
of enamelling the surface, to which process we 
have already referred. When this was 

r 11 J • Enamelling 

carerully done, it undoubtedly produced colour on 
pleasing effects, but unfortunately it was ^*''' 
too often employed carelessly ; so much so that 
frequently one has cause to regret that enamelling 
ever came into vogue at all. 

To recapitulate, the story of how glass was 
coloured b^ins with pot-metal dyes, and goes 
on to the re-dipping of the same, then to the 

23 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

painting on the surface of pot-metal gkss, and 
closes with enamelling of the surface. Fortu- 
natcly for Italy the earliest and best method 
persisted long and died hard. 



Purposely, we have not, up to this point, 
attempted to divide Italian glass into periods or 
Diviiion epochs. This division into periods is 

into DMiotls. , . , r « ■' 

one which -.-st be effected very differ- 
ently in the different countries of Europe, for glass 
not only developed by diverging paths, but also at 
different moments in the lives of the natims. In 
England, it is usual to subdivide it unde: t,. .cad- 
ings generally employed for English architecture, 
viz. .-Early English, Decorated, Perpendicular, 
and lastly Renaissance or i6th century. German 
gl. s derived its epochs from the differing styles of 
the design— Romanesque, Geometric, Interpene- 
trated, and Renaissance (i6th century). In France, 
it happens that the epochs are so neariy co-exten- 
sive with the centuries that it is more con-enient to 
call their examples 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and i6th 
century windows. In Italy also we shall be able to 

24 



Introduction 

employ the same subdivision by centuries, but it wiL 
only be necessary to provide for three epochs, 
naming them respectively after the 14th, 15th, and 
1 6th centuries. We must be careful to r^ 

*^ *•" Companion 

notice that in Italy the two periods called '•y """'"«• 
14th century and 15th century, show a very 
different product from the same subdivisions in 
France. Italian glass began later than French, 
ripened much faster, and finished earlier. The 
Italian 14th century glass will be found to be 
almost exclusively of the mosaic medallion type, 
similar to that which flourished in France up to 
about the middle of the 13th century. This com- 
parison at once shows how much later was the 
Italian than the Frencn development of the craft. 
Italian 15th century glass is quite different from 
anything produced at any time in France. Instead 
of the light-tinted canopy windows *^'>^ in France, 
flourished throughout both the i^ . and 15th 
centuries, we have in Italy, during the 15th cen- 
tury, a vigorous and long-continued old age of 
rich pot-metal glass, sometimes employed in storied 
windows of many figures, but chiefly in single 
figure subjects whose architectural background, 
although frequently in the form of a Renaissance 

«5 






■|( 



!,4f 



M 



F 





A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 
canopy, is aJw.7, composed of such deep tones as 
to be part of the picture itself instead of merely a 
frame thereof. We shall find this Renaissance archi- 
tecture firmly established in Italy early in the 15th 
century, although it did not reach France until the 
Renaimncc ^^*^- ^^ "lust not forget that the 
j;;=K- i" Renaissance originated in Italy and thence 
spread into Europe, being carried into 
France by the art trophies taken thither by the 
soldiers of Louis XII and Francis I. This means 
that a window which in France would be unhesita- 
tmgly dated ,6th century, because of its Classical 
or Renaissance design, would in an Italian church 
undoubtedly be of the ,5th Century. So rapid 
was th,s development in Italy that the change from 
Gothic to Renaissance was effected much more 
quickly than further north, while for some time 
they existed side by side. In the predella below 
one of Benozzo Gozzoli's pictures in the Vatican 
Gallery, one scene shows a Gothic interior, and 
another a purely Classical one. By the end of the 
t5th century, Italian glass had shot its bolt 
Indeed, when Pope Julius II wished to glaze 
the windows of the Vatican and certain Roman 
churches, he had to send to France for glaziers. 

26 



m 



Introduction 

The genius of William de Marcillat, one of those 
who came in obedience to the papal summons, 
caused the ashes of Italian glass-making to glow, 
but even he could not rekindle it into the glorious 
fire of the previous century. William and his 
school may be described as the splendid sunset of 
Italian glazing. 

So runs the tale of Italian glass — a late begin- 
ning and prolonged existence of mosaic glass, a brief 
appearance but never a vogue of yellow Gothic 
canopies, followed by a long and happy reign of 
the Classical canopy, done in such rich pot-metal 
colours as to incorporate it in the picture instead 
of isolating it as a frame. Then seemingly comes 
the end of all things in glass, when lo ! William de 
Marcillat and his men snatch up the fallen torch, 
but, although it burns brightly in their hands, it 
is soon extinguished. 



iU' H) 



And now to consider where we shall see the 
windows of the three great Italian periods. Mosaic 
medallion glass begins at Assisi during the closing 
years of the 13th century and is best studied at 

27 






A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

that place. It lasted until the third quarter of 
Where. the 14th centufjr, and its concluding 



abouti of I . , r , — "S 

glories (of about 1370) are to be seen 



lulian 
glasi. 



not only at Assisi but also at Orvieto 
and Siena. At that time, by way of conclud- 
ing the 14th century, there appeared a few 
examples of canopy windows done in the manner 
of northern Europe, but so few are they that 
they do not deserve to be dignified by giving 
their name to an epoch. These intrusions of a 
northern style are exemplified in the nave of the 
Duomo at Florence, in San Petronio at Bologna 
and at the Certosa in the Val d'Ema. The 
15th century produced windows of two varieties 
those which told stories, and those of the pot- 
metal canopies. The Storied Windows are to be 
seen chiefly at Milan and Pisa, although there are 
also examples in Florence, Venice, etc. The pot- 
metal canopy can best be studied in Florence, 
Bologna and Lucca. Lastly, we come to the i6th 
century windows, the work of William de MarciUat 
and his school ; these begin with him, and end 
with the work of his favourite pupil. Pastorino, 
whose masterpiece is in the cathedral at Siena 
These ,6th century windows are best at Arezzo^ 

28 



^^**»«-*i-iiiiSiia«.=*^ 



Introduction 

but can also be enjoyed in Rome, Perugia, Siena, 
and Milan. 



I !. 



Now for a word about some unique and purely 
Italian manifestations of our craft. We have already 
mentioned one of them when we told how 
the Italian preferred to make his canopies of haifan'" 
rich with pot-metal tones instead of obse- "'"*' 
quiously adopting the pale, light-admitting canopies 
of his northern neighbours. This produced at once 
a marked contrast between northern and southern 
windows, as all who have seen them will testify. 

Even more special is his acceptance and treat- 
ment of round embrasures. In the north we saw 
and admired the development of the rose window 
and the wheel window, and could not fail to observe 
that in them the architect and the glazier always 
worked hand in hand, the former providing the 
traceries or spokes, and the latter filling the open 
spaces between them. In Italy the glazier had the 
round aperture all to himself. He seemed actually 
to prefer it left a simple bull's eye, so that he might 
fill it with one great picture. In Italian it is 

29 



. ,} 


rai 


m 




1 


1 


III 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

commonly caUed an "occhio" or "eye." Sometimes, 
as in the cathedral at Florence, the architect has 
provided the stone spokes so usual in the north, 
but has set them so far out from the surface 
of the glass that they are not noticeable from 
the interior. Thus they help to decorate the ex- 
terior of the building without intruding upon the 
surface of the glass picture viewed from within. 
In Florence alone there are thirteen of these 
splendid blossoms of Italian glazing. They are 
generally to be found high up in the western front 
of churches. There are also a number of instances, 
notably at Bologna, of small bull's eye windows used 
to light chapels, etc. The Italian occhio is a charming 
manifestation, unfortunately rare in other countries, 
and yet from the standpoint of both the architect 
and the glazier so simple and graceful that one 
comes to wonder that it was not adopted elsewhere. 
Another method of admitting the light while 
keeping out the weather was that of using trans- 
lucent slabs of different hued alabaster. This was 
fairly common in Italy, but is almost never seen 
elsewhere. The peculiar charm of these windows 
is due to the way in which their colour shifts and 
changes with the varying light. 



r 




I '(-■>i;;nftl I>v I'iii 
Cathclr.J. N..l.f 
Kur.)p<-. Tlif llaliahs »li 
space. (Si-f /tajir S(ti 



I Vl'li' \I ()( cmo. OR KVE \VI 

oi..r,,,-ii,,. diipof . 



stTiis ■<( vi'vtn !■( 



■"'■'i 1K-. llliar -VM ill acliiivi 



nr rn><' Iia. . nrs iiv 



jlivtin.; thrir .;i. 



i|>- 1 • a .11. iii..i 



• i 



. 


I. 


1 


1; 


» 




1 


v''| 


J 

1 


II 


A 


" 1 


1 


IBj 


i 



f «1 



Introduction 

Italian glass is fortunate in the simplicity that 
generally characterizes its designs. It rejoices in a 
" happy emptiness " — to borrow a felicitous phrase 
anent Giotto from Bernard Berenson, deft with his 
English as any of his beloved painters with their 
brushes. Simple also are the shapes of Italian 
embrasures, but this time simplicity does not evoke 
our approval, for we cannot help thinking with 
wistful longing of the elaborate stone traceries and 
pleasing groups of lancets so familiar to us in 
northern Europe. 

After seeing many Italian windows it suddenly 
strikes the observer that almost none of them bear 
the images of their donors, a regular 'practice else- 
where in Europe, which in France during the 
1 6th century became almost obnoxious, so con- 
spicuous were the kneeling figures of the generous 
individuals. Indeed, in some instances, as at Brou 
or at Montmorency, it is difficult to conclude which 
is the more important, the donor or the religious 
subject of the window ! No explanation is offered 
for this modesty on the part of the patrons of 
Italian glass. All we have to do is to record the 
fact, and that too with a sigh of relief. 

Another peculiarity of the craft in Italy is the 
31 



H 

i 

1 






jK i 



i 



^n 



li 



i 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

al ro: entire absence of that type of uncoloured 
but patterned windows so common elsewhere, and 
generally caUed "grisaiUe." There is a little of 
this to be seen in the upper church at Asaisi, but 
that is about all. The reason for this absence of 
gnsadle is not far to seek~the problem of sufficient 
lUummation never plagued the glazier of sunny 
Italy, and as he had no need for the light-admitting 
grisaille, he left it to his brothers in the cloudy 
northlands, and went happily on reveUing in his 
gorgeous pot-metal dyes. 



In view of the high standard reached by Italian 
glass, and its undoubted popularity, it seems in- 
D«truction explicable at first blush, that there is not 

01 glass. ^^ r • , 

more of it to be seen to-day. The first 
explanation that occurs to one is that great quantities 
must have Men victim to the stress of war and 
time. Ample encouragement is found for this 
theory when we read of the ravages of artillery 
salvos at Bologna, or of the seizure of the lead 
from Roman windows to manufacture bullets, or of 
the varied onslaughts suffered at Assisi from such 

32 



Introduction 

widely difFcring destructive agencies as earthquakes 
and stone-throwing neighbours. But a further in- 
vestigation of how much harm was thus actually 
done reveals that, although the destruction at Rome 
was undoubtedly wholesale, both at Bologna and 
Assisi, thanks to a system of constant repairing, we 
have been deprived of only a surprisingly small pro- 
portion of the original total. No, in the matter of 
destroyed windows, Italy has suffered far less than 
the rest of Europe. War has seemed reverently 
to avoid the fragile beauty of her windows, and she 
has never been afflicted with those periods of 
boorish indifference to, or ignorance of matters 
artistic, which from time to time did such irre- 
parable damage north of the Alps. The real reason 
for the comparative paucity of stained glass in Italy 
is the greater interest there displayed in painting 
church interiors in fresco. Coloured glass, by 
reducing the amount of light, tended to obscure 
the sacred stories pictured on the walls, and as 
Italy is par excellence the home of fresco painting, 
stained glass was never so widely used there as in 
countries where the walls were decorated less with 
colour than with sculpture. 

If any of our readers care to go more deeply 



1 

1' 






M 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

into the technicalities of window construction, we 
would recommend Lewis Day's "Windows of 
Stained Glass," as the best book in English, and 
"Vitraux," by Olivier Merson, as the best in 
French. We trust that the reader has survived our 
brief lecture upon the subject, and we faithfully 
promise to abstain from technicalities in the remain- 
ing pages of this book. 



34 



1^1 ii 



\i 



1 



t 

I 

I 

I 



S' 



ITINERARY 

ETTING forth from Rome we shall first 
proceed northerly over the rolling cam- 
pagna and into the hills 140 kilometres 
to Orvieto, and from thence branch off in a 
north-easterly direction, 160 kilometres to Perugia. 
This lofty town should be made the centre from 
which to visit Assisi, 46 kilometres to the east, 
because the latter place does not possess a first- 
class hostelry. From Perugia we sUrt north-west 
up the Umbrian plain, stopping after 1 20 kilometres 
it steep Cortona, then going on in a more northerly 
irection 54 kilometres to Arezzo. If we are in 
leisurely mood an agreeable side trip may be 
ken from Girtona by visiting Monte San Savino, 
5 kilometres to the west, then 7 kilometres south 
Lucignano, and lastly back 20 kilometres to 
ortona. Si^ina may also be visited, lying about 
3 kilometres north-west from Arezzo. From 
rezzo we drop down into the valley of the Arno, 

35 






i 



il 
111 









^11 > 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

and follow the curve of this river 87 kilometres 
north-west to Florence. This city will be our 
headquarters for visiting San Miniato (one of its 
suburbs), the Certosa ii the Val d'Ema, 5 kilo- 
metres distant, and Prates 19 kilometres to the 
north-west. Leaving Florence we sweep off to 
the west 77 kilometres to Lucca, then down 23 
kilometres to Pisa, and next 100 kilometres to 
Siena, lying south-east. From Siena one can go 
85 kilometres south to Grosetto, but this trip 
is only mentioned and not advised. Siena lies 
67 kilometres south of Florence and to go from 
Siena to Bologna (170 kilometres) we must pass 
through Florence on the way. This fiict may 
influence some automobilists to retain Florence as 
a h'^dquarters for visiting Lucca, Pisa, and Siena. 
If this be done it is possible to see the glass of 
Lucca and Pisa in one day, although it will make 
a round trip of 182 kilometres, and one's view of 
both Lucca and Pisa will perforce be unfortunately 
curtailed. Siena is 67 kilometres from Florence, 
and fi'om Florence on to Bologna is 103 kilometres. 
After visiting Bologna one can either go north-east, 
165 kilometres to Venice and thence west 214 
kilometres to Milan, or Milan can be visited first 

36 



IlLr 



I i ; . 



Itinerary 

id Venice reserved for the last. From Milan the 
tosa of Pavia is distant 30 Liometres south, and 
5nno, 25 kilometres to the north-west. 
At the back of this book will be found an index 
af towns showing the epochs of their windows. 



ill 



I 



§\ 



;fi*' 



\B\ 



'ir' 



37 



ROME 

THE most impressive and inspiring 
spectacle that has come down to us 
out of history is the Roman Forum. 
In it there stood the Golden Milestone 
from which were measured distances upon all the 
roads that led from this central point out to the 
boundaries of the Empire, which is but another 
way of saying— to the confines of :,.e then known 
world. Since "all roads lead to Rome," there is 
no more obvious point at •. mch to give tryst to 
our stained glass pilgrims, and it is in Rome there- 
fore that we will await the assembling of our 
company. They will be sworn to see, and thus 
brought to love the glass we shall show them, but 
at the same time all shall be free, nay, encouraged, 
to drink deep draughts of those other artistic 
delights which this fascinating land of Italy offers 
to those who wander through it. The shimmering 
beauty of our windows shall be as a string of pearls 

38 



Rome 

for each traveller, but he m.y, at hi. pleasure, hang 
upon u as pendant, such other jeweUed memorie. 
as his fiincy seizes during our travels. Certain it is 
that at the end of our journey hi, memory will be 
festooned with the pearls that we have promi,ed-a 
senes of never-to-be-forgotten glimpses into the 
beauty of blended colour and sunlight that stained 
glass, and nothing else can give him. 

Roman history reeks with « war and rumours 
of war." but no group of its students has been ,o 
despoiled of its special prey as that which loves old 
glass. Once there were many splendid windows 
throughout this ancient city, but when it wa, 
besieged in 1527 and the munitions of war ran 
low. the stained glass contained so much lead- 
vitally precious for the manufecture of bullets-that 
utUity outweighed beauty, and the windows were 
broken up. Before we consider the few remains 
yet to be seen of its ancient windows, let us. as is 
but fitting and proper in so historical a city, turn 
our attention to the history of our craft, for nowhere 
else will the records teU so continuous or so 
interesting a story of its development. We know 
that the early designers of glass were borrowed 
from the parent art of mosaic. From its earliest 

39 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

chapels up to its architectural apotheosis, St. Peter's, 
Rome possesses an unbroken exhibit of the develop-' 
ment of mosaic, whose designs show a steady march 
forward from the crude early Christian symbolism 
until they finally blossom out into the imperishable 
reproduction at St. Peter's of the genius of Raphael 
and a score of Italy's greatest painters. From this 
very art of mosaic there branched forth at an early 
date the decoration of window spaces in colour. 
AH that was needed to emulate the success of the 
mosaicist was to do for a window what the mosaicist 
had done for his wall-adorn it with a picture made 
up of bits of parti-coloured glass. It was Emperor 
Constantine that brought this craft to Rome from 
Constantinople, where it had long been practised 
in Santa Sofia and other churches. From his time 
down all the ages the records of Rome show that 
the coloured glazing of windows was understood, 
and was steadily developing as an art. In the 
catacombs there have been found fragments of 
painted glass showing the Good Shepherd and other 
symbols so dear to the primitive Christians. Several 
early Christian writers speak of stained glass pictures 
as not uncommon at the end of the 5th century. 
When the capital of ihe Empire was transferred to 

40 



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Rome 

Byzantium, art languished in Italy, and the great 
church of Santa Sofia became the world's magnet for 
artists, and the glories of its glass have been told 
by many writers. Then came the fall of the 
Empire and the inrush of the barbarians. Under 
Leo III, at the beginning of the 9th century, the 
art of the glazier greatly advanced. In the middle 
of that century we read that Benedict III decorated 
with coloured glass the apse of the " church across 
the Tiber." 

An important step was taken when, in 1058, 
Abbot Desiderio summoned glaziers from Con- 
stantinople to decorate (among others) the church 
of Monte Cassino. It would seem, however, that 
no roots were struck in Italian soil by these 
Byzantines. We read that they remained in that 
neighbourhood, but neither they nor ti.eir craft 
ventured to branch out. Now came the moment 
when the painting of walls in fresco -seized upon 
the popular imagination, and so engrossed it 
that we hear of no revival of stained glass until 
the latter part of the 13th century, when it shows 
itself in the Upper Church at Assisi. Italian 
architecture had meanwhile been taking a step 
very favourable to the craft, in that the Cistercians 

41 



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brought Gothic to that country in the first 
quarter of the 13th century, and we know the 
favouring influence that Gothic everywhere exerted 
on behalf of stained glass. All of the Italian glass 
earlier than that to be seen at Assisi is lost to us. 
It is at Rome that we must study its history, and 
yet strangely enough, Rome is the city which has 
lost the most glass, and the one in which its 
absence is most to be lamented. Storehouse as it 
is of the world's ar*, it is for us singularly painful 
that the necessities of war should have been so 
peculiarly blasting to the art in which we are 
interested. We have a right to protest against 
this evil fortune, for we know that all France and all 
Italy have been fought over time and time again, 
and yet elsewhere than in Rome the destruction of 
war has proved miraculously indulgent to stained 
glass, notwithstanding that it is the most fragile of 
art products. In Rome alone this grace was denied. 
It was just before the calamitous year of 1527, 
when war's necessities requisitioned the lead in 
Rome's windows, that these very windows had 
reached their crowning glory, for it was in the 
first years of the i6th century that the monk, 
William de Marcillat, whom we shall learn to 

42 



Rome 

revere at Arezzo, carried his art to a perfection in 
Rome that it never reached elsewhere. Bramante 
was authorized by Pope Julius II to send to 
France for the most skilful glass artists obtainable 
in order to awake the traditions of an art then 
utterly dead in Italy. In obedience to this august 
summons there came a certain master, Claude, and 
in his train came William. Hardly had Claude 
arrived in Rome when he fell a victim to over- 
indulgence at a banquet, and William stood alone 
at the open door of opportunity. Alas, to-day we 
must be content with reading of his splendid 
triumphs at Rome, and it is to Arezzo that we 
must go to judge what his Roman glass must have 
been. The glory of these Roman windows was 
short-lived, for they went the way of all the others 
during the siege of 1527 — two years before 
William's death. Thus perished in the preparation 
for war what had hitherto survived war's fiercest 
outburst Two examples alone of his Roman work 
survive, and their preservation is probably due to 
their obscure position behind the high altar in 
Santa Maria del Popolo. These charming windows 
are wide and low, and from the centre of each a 
semi-circle arises accommodating the insignia of 

43 



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that great patron of art, Julius II. Each is divided 
into six scenes from biblical history, arranged in two 
tiers. Although these remains are not extensive 
they show the artist at his best, not only in the 
adjustment of his scenes, but also in the masterly 
combination of strong colours with deliciously soft 
greens and neutral tints. His small landscapes, 
whether depicted in the open or shown through 
doorways, are so aUuring as to make you feel 
inclined to defer your studies and walk abroad in 
them. 

In the chapel of the Caetani family at Santa 
Pudenziana is another window worth seeing, if only 
to show that the Italian glazier continued to be 
painstaking at a time when his French contem- 
porary, to avoid the labour demanded by careful 
leading, was turning more and more to the easier 
method of painting his glass. The subject is 
Christ crucified, against a background of colourless 
panes surrounded by a rich yellow stain border. At 
the foot of the cross the housetops of distant 
Jerusalem are carefUUy delineated in lead lines. In 
France they would have been painted only, as one 
sees in the i6th century landscapes at Conches and 
elsewhere. The same trouble is taken with the 

44 



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small cherubs who hold lighted tapers at each side, 
and also with the blue garland at the top— very 
agreeable and equally significant. 

When we wrench ourselves from the fascination 
that Rome has and always has had for all the world, 
it will be but the memory of the history of glass 
and few reminiscences of windows that we can take 
with us; but after all, is not history the most 
potent spell that Rome exerts ? If you doubt it, 
stand for a while looking down on the mutely 
eloquent ruins of the Forum, and there will come 
pouring in a flood of memories from every point of 
geography and every episode of history, returning 
as in duty bound to the Golden Milestone from 
which their distances have all been measured. For 
the writer, Rome has always seemed the seated 
figure of an aged man about whose knees climb 
children of to-day, their prattlings in no wise 
disturbing his absent-minded musings upon the 
destinies of nation after nation which have passed 
before his eyes. The Moses of Michael Angcio 
is the type of man we mean, but the Moses is an 
incomplete expression of our thought in that his 
brawny knees support no symbols that link antiquity 
with the happy, careless life of the Rome of to-day. 

45 



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ORVIETO 

RISING sheer on every side from the valleys 
below is the imposing bulk of a huge 
rock, and on its top securely rests the 
ancient city of Orvieto. In modern 
times access has been made easy by a funicular 
railway, which, with seven minutes of monotonous 
cogging, carries one comfortably to the top. Not 
so easy or expeditious was the ascent when His 
Holiness, Clement VII, disguised as a gardener 
to escape from his enemies in Rome (ninety miles 
away to the south), had to prod his mule up the 
long steep zig-zag by which the roadway accom- 
plishes the weary climb. The walls of the town, 
built to the very edge of the straight-faced rock, 
seem so high above us in the air and so secure in 
their remoteness as to have reaUy been unnecessary 
to the safety of those who dwelt within them. The 
views from these waUs are extensive and delightful, 
even more so than from any of the other Italian 
hiU cities. Once back, however, from the outlook 

46 




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afforded by these walls, and the disUnce above and 
away from the world is forgotten. One is trans- 
ferred into an Italian city not unlike many of its 
sisters, and entirely devoid of that sense of aloof- 
ness which a peep downward from its walls is sure 
to give. The name «« Orvieto," corrupted as it is 
from the Latin urbs vetus (the ancient city), carries 
in itself the tale of its antiquity. Indeed, the 
obvious security of this unusual eminence of tawny 
tufii must have commended it from the earliest 
times to those who needed security first, and « the 
pursuit of happiness " afterwards. Here there was 
built a great cathedral in memory of the miracle 
of Bolsena, when a doubting priest was convinced 
by the bleeding of the Commumon Wafer of t!ie 
doctrine of transubstontiation. A rarely beautiful 
cathedral it is too, with a beauty that changes with 
the hour of the day. Under the brilliant noonday 
sun tht magnificent western facade rairiy sparkles 
in the glories of its rich mosaics. When the twi- 
light time comes on it brings with it into thr old 
marbles a delicious honey brown. The shadows 
it then lends to the web of sculptured Bible legends 
that hang like lace across ihe lower reaches of the 



f-jade, endow them with 

47 



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during the brighter hours of the day. Nor has 
the interior less to invite our notice, ou. admira- 
tion, and our study. From the right transept we 
enter a chapel whose frescoes were begun oy Fra 
Angelico and finished by the masterpieces of 
Signorelli. No one who has seen these latter will 
ever forget the haunting face of the Anti-Christ 
preaching his false doctrine under the whispered 
prompting at his ear of the embodiment of evil 
thought — a horrible and persistent memory, one 
which has preached its silent sermon to worshippers 
in this chapel for over five hundred years. 

About us in the church proper is spread a two- 
fold reward for our visit — two-fold, because not 
only have we in the nave a glorious series of ala- 
baster windows, but in the square-ended apse there 
is stained glass in the two fine rosaces, and a lofty 
eastern embrasure of the mosaic period that can vie 
with the many splendid examples of its form to be 
seen in England. In addition to these there is a 
handsome wheel wmdow high up in the western 
front, which, for Italy, is unusual in having the 
spaces between the spokes glazed as in northern 
Europe, instead of having the glass set well back 
from the stone-work of the wheel so as to give an 

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Orvieto 

unbroken round surface for a picture. Perhaps the 
reason for the different treatment here is that no 
picture is attempted, its place being taken by a 
kaleidoscopic pattern in low blues and soft greens. 
The rosaces pierced in the northern and southern 
choir walls are also unusual, seven round openings 
filled with busts being preferred to the usual large 
buU's eye devoted to one picture. The explanation 
for this divergence from the expected may be 
that because these high-placed rosaces cannot be 
seen from a great distance, but only from across 
the width of the choir, this broken-up treatment 
of the embrasure serves better than would a large 
picture. Be that as it may, the result is pleasing, 
and that is what most concerns you and me. 

Not only does the great east window appeal to 
us by reason of its wealth of mosaic medaUions 
("'- ! too rare in Italy), but also and chiefly because 
o; its great beauty. Its four tall lancets contain 
forty-four small mosaic pictures, the medallion 
border which encloses each being of the same 
design, somewhat resembling the top of a billiard 
table with pockets at the ends and in the middle 
of the long sides. The deft interweaving of 
the strap-like borders of these medallions repays 

49 E 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

attention, and is so reminiscent of some in the 
lower church at Assisi, and of the great east window 
at Siena, that we are not surprised to learn that the 
same glaziers worked at all three places. Each of 
the four lancets has a rich narrow border, and 
ubove are singularly graceful tracery lights, finally 
tapering to a point at the top. Much clear blue 
is used throughout the composition, even serving 
as a background to fifteen of the small scenes, but 
monotony of tone is avoided and warmth imparted 
by ten other backgrounds being red, and ten more 
red with gold fleur-de-lis. This red is even now 
deep and rich, but it is still too early to find the 
correspondingly deep blue so generally used after 
the opening of the 1 5th century. One notices the 
absence of green, what little there is being light 
in tint. Whenever an interior scene is depicted 
the architecture is only suggested. In the same 
spirit of suggestion a single diminutive tree serves 
to locate other scenes out-of-doors. 

But we must resist the temptation to devote 
all our time and appreciation even to so effective 
an example of the mosaic period as the great 
cast window. Returning to the nave we shall 
find spread out before us a magnificent row of 

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twenty-four embrasures filled with alabaster, a sub- 
stance of which such delightful use was made in 
Italy. Nor is it, as one might fear, a monotonous 
beauty, for in no two localities shall we find it 
of the same colour. Here it is a mellow yellowish 
or orange brown, sufficiently fluctuating in its 
shading as to lend a sense of movement to the 
colouring. The windows are mostly to be found 
in the small bowed recesses which line the sides 
of the nave, sometimes two lancets together, some- 
times singly. They are also placed above the 
two smaU side portals, and over the ihree entrances 
that pierce the west front, the central one being a 
particularly graceful interlacing of eight divisions 
ending in a point at the top. We may remark 
in passing that it is a pity that they fiUed in the 
upper parts of the nave lights with modern glass. 

I wonder what it is that causes one to linger 
so long over alabaster windows, lacking as they 
do the story and the variety of tints to be seen 
in stained glass. Is it the change constantly pro- 
duced in them by shifting light which excites our 
curiosity and delays our departure? Strange as 
it may seem in the teUing, the more the afternoon 
sun ftils the richer seems to glow the light in 

51 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

and through the alabaster. The writer will never 
forget a certain afternoon in April when he watched 
the twilight deepen in Orvieto Cathedral, and saw 
the light slowly diminish until all architectural 
detail and all sound seemed to ^de away, and to 
leave behind them only the faint glow and harmony 
of the windows. 



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PERUGIA 

^ROM that perch far aloft— the little square 
before the Prefecture, what a wide sweep 
the eye covers, far beyond and far below ! 
The green slopes drop away and still 
Bp away until they are lost in the spacious 
pkm across which we spy a grey patch upon the 
iistant Apennines-— Assisi I The eye wandering 
an happens upon a slender ribbon of silver, the 
jinnings of the Tiber— « Father Tiber, to 
[whom all Romans pray." Below us on every side 
^ies undulating greenness, rising every now and 
lagain into the small knob-like hillocks so often 
jseen in the backgrounds of Perugino, the great 
Ipainter who took his name from the apex of 
[the landscape he knew and loved so well. The 
[steepness of the incline which one has to mount to 
[reach this lofty city is continued and sweeping rather 
than abrupt as at Orvieto, or irregular as at Siena. 
JBut Perugia is loftier, and more remote from its 
[surrounding landscape, than any of the other hill 

53 



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towns. Of Perugino, it must be said that those 
wishing to know him well must not rest content 
with his easel pictures hung in so many galleries, 
nor even with his fi-escoes in the Sistine Chapel, 
where his personality is subordinated to a general 
scheme of decoration ; — one must mount up to 
his eyrie-like city and see what he has done to 
make the charming, nest-like hall of its Chamber of 
Commerce unique among mercantile council rooms. 
The ceiling and walls of this modest-sizeu chamber 
are covered with frescoes of such excellence as to 
prove that here his genius and his local pride worked 
hand in hand. The studied calm of Perugino's 
pictures becomes all the more striking when one 
learns of the riotous scenes amidst which the painter 
lived and worked, for Perugia has the bloodiest 
history of the bloody Italian Middle Ages. The 
Baglioni famUy were not content to drive out all 
rival nobles from the city, but they must needs fall 
upon each other in a manner so blood-thirsty and so 
callously planned as to exceed even the ruthless 
traditions of the local nobility. Fortunately for 
those interested in the gentle sport of murder, the 
Baglioni was such a numerous family as to pro- 
vide in themselves ample material for indulging in 

54 



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extended frttricide. In the midst of all this tumuJt 
«nd blood spiUing, Perugino calmly continued to 
paint hit peaceful scenes, and with him studied 
the great Raphael, who later on shows us that 
he was not forgetful of his early environment by 
introducing into his frescoes of the Vatican Stanza 
Astorre Baglioni, the most beautiful and perhaps 
the most foully murdered of that murderous 
race. He appears as Heliodorus being chased 
jfrom the Temple by angels. In passing, it may be 
permitted to the author, "doglike to bay the 
Imoon,"— the scale of drawing used for Helio- 
iorus is strangely out of harmony with that of his 
••"stisers. 

In the Duomo at Perugia, just on the right 
you enter, is a window of 1565, showing, 
linst a background of classical architecture, St. 
Bernardino preaching to the people, but alas ! the 
Hily robed figures seem more interested in looking 
the tourist than at the great preacher. Their 
jinattention to the sermon in no way suggests the 
historic scene which took place in the picturesque 
quare outside, when, from the small pulpit project- 
ing from the church wall, he so wrought upon the 
~>pulace that men and women stripped off their 

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jewels and in' a| spasm of remorse and reform filled 
basket after basket with discarded finery. The 
window is far too solemnly beautiful to recall that 
dramatic scene. The Duomo was deprived of a 
great work by the hand of William de Marcillat, for 
he died a few days after signing the contract to glaze 
the huge round window in the west wall. 

In the church of St. Dominic the eastern 
embrasure is unusually large, 20'8o meters by 7*40 
meters. Its six lancets have their twenty-four panels 
each filled with a saint in canopy, but aks I they are 
of modern restoration and design. Along the lowest 
tier are four good groups of figures preserved from 
the original glazing of 141 1, the small people being 
well drawn, and reminiscent of similar scenes at 
Milan and Pisa. 

The one fine window at the Duomo, and 
St. Dominic's over-restored reminder of former 
glory would hardly have taken us to Perugia 
had it not been necessary to come here in order 
to visit Assisi, that treasure house of early glass. 
The delightfully picturesque site and the quaint 
streets of "bloody Perugia" go far, however, to 
console us for its poverty of windows. 



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ASSISI 

AT no time in the world's history has the 
human race been so human as Huring 
^ the Middle Ages — perhaps almost lOo 
human in some manifestations of their 
dark history, but if the passions of man had freer 
play then than now, so too had the softer sentiments. 
The hearts of men spoke as much more frankly 
then, as did their wills and brains. On this gentler 
side of the picture, over against the Man with 
the Sword, there stands out no more sympathetic 
figure than the monk Francis of Assisi, St. Francis, 
whose followers in the i8th century numbered 
150,000 with 9000 monastic establishments in 
which to perpetuate the vows of chastity, poverty, 
and obedience which he laid down and exemplified 
throughout a life of good works. The anecdotes 
of him that have come down to us reveal a human 
being of astounding and masterful simplicity. With 
the same unconscious dignity and the same Chris- 
tian zeal, he pronounced his arguments before a 

57 



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Mahomedan Sultan, or spoke his simple sermons 
to the birds and fishes. His strength, and a force- 
ful strength it was ! — was his convincing gentleness. 
He was no Savonarola to thunder against the evil 
life led by many of the clergy, but nevertheless he 
accomplished greater reforms by the example of 
a life which in itself was so potent a reproach to 
the erring. In our modern days of reason and 
advanced civilization it is difficult for us to realize 
the constant difficulties which confi-onted this monk 
in his attempt to accomplish that we know he did 
in the stress of the turbulent life going on all f»hout 
him. To feel his personality and to understand 
the force which he and his life wielded during the 
Middle Ages, one must go to Assisi. The place 
is eloquent of him, and still possesses the atmos- 
phere of religious mysticism that, although it existed 
side by side with the constant clash of arms, yet 
in no wise yielded place. 

The town straggles up a hillside so steep that 
one wonders that the church of San Francesco 
remains anchored to its site. Above we have a 
well-lijhted, airy edifice, while beneath its pavement 
the slope of the hill permits an understructure, 
on three sides of which a series of short windows 

58 



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temper the gloom of the constant twilight lying 
about the tomb of the gentle Francis. Both in the 
lofty lancets of the upper church and the short 
embrasures of the lower one is to be found a wealth 
of stained glass of the mosaic medallion type. So 
rare is the product of this period in Italy that this 
is the only place where enough examples exist to 
enable one satisfactorily to compare and study the 
school. In the lower church we can inspect them 
at close range and, at our ease, puzzle out the 
story of the little scenes told in morsels of glass 
laboriously leaded together. A painstaking craft 
was that of the early glazier ! Here there are 
surprises in store for those who have studied the 
mosaic medallions of France and England, and 
grown accustomed to the circles, squares, etc., tl.ere 
so customary. At Assisi the designer of the 
medaUion shapes ran riot, and his diminutive people 
are enclosed in frames of every imaginable shape. 
The 13th century medallions in the upper church 
are more after the fashion of those which we have 
seen in the north, but down below every effort 
would seem to have been made to get away from 
the conventional circles, etc. For example, in the 
most easterly chapel on the north side the frame 

59 






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is proviucd by a ribbon of many convolutions 
wound £bout the tiny figure ; in the chapel of 
St. Martin the glazier has daringly superimposed 
each saint upon two circles, one above the other, 
and yet has given ^s a successful result. Indeed, 
" successful " is just the word we need to describe 
this long series, except perhaps in one particular — 
because of the enforced limitations of space, one can- 
not get hr enough away from the windows to obtaiii 
that jewelled glow produced by the breaking up 
and refraction of the sun's rays by the myriad bits 
of glass — a glow which we have learned to know 
and love in France. We miss the splendid glitter 
yielded by the transept rose windows of Notre 
Dame in Paris, and in its stead have something 
that more resembles the dose-at-hand beauty seen 
in the Sainte Chapelle. So dimly lighted is this 
crypt-like lower church at Assisi that it is only 
when the sun gets low in the west that its slanting 
rays enable one to make out the beautiful allegorical 
frescoes painted by Giotto on the vaulting above 
the altar more than six hundred years ago. 

In sharp contrast to this scene of dim, solemn 
beauty is the orilliantly lighted upper church to 
which we ascend by a flight of steps rising from 

60 




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the Sacristy. Here, above the frescoes that run 
all around the walls, is a series of tall lancets 
containing medallion work as well as contemporary 
panels of geometric decoration, and besides, certain 
tall peiionages of such great size that the glazier 
composed each face of a number ^f pieces. One 
sees these tall figures stationed about the clerestories 
of Chartres, Rheims, and other northern cathedrals. 
Here, however, we note a difference — the large 
figures are nearest us, while above their heads are 
dis|-osed small groups in medallions : one would 
prefer that the more easily seen personages should 
have been placed the furthest f-om us, and that the 
small scenes, the details of which are so difficult 
to distinguish, had been brought nearer our eyes. 
Most of this early glass in the upper church dates 
from the end of the 13th century, and there are 
many indications to show that Cimabuc had a hand 
in their designing. One side of the nave has glass 
of the early 14th century, and among it can be 
easily recognized some figures in 15th century 
canopies These latter were brought from the 
cathedrals ^ Perugia and Foligno. Pursuing our 
study of ♦**« glass chi onologically we will return 
from the ^ -■ the lower church, and find t: .-e 

61 



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no glass earlier than the 14th century. Fortunately, 
however, for its general cflfcct, it is almost all of 
that period. It will be well to devote particular 
attention to the chapel of St Citherine, because the 
three artists that worked upon it, Bonino di Assisi 
and Angioleito and Pietro di Gubbio, also took 
part in the glazing of the cathedrals at Siena and 

Orvief 

The story of the glass as told by /• rchives 
of the church increases our surprise that its fragile 
beauty should have survived the many vicissitudes 
at the mercy of which it has existed for centuries. 
Not only has it resist -d earthquakes and conflagra- 
tions, but also certain playful tendencies of the 
citizens, such as, for instance, are revealed by an 
edict of the Commune of Assisi in 1330, for- 
bidding the shooting of arrows or the throwing 
of stones at the ch» ch of St. Francis, under a 
penalty of the paymei f five lire ss damages ! 



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CORTONA 

THOSE who devote their stay in Italy to 
the study of its art alone are unjustly 
narrow, for that fiiir land has much to 
say to the practical side of modern life. 
Perhaps some of those ill-balanced students would 
be surprised— nay, even grieved— to : -ar that there 
is as much to learn for an energetic American 
chamber of commerce m the activities and triumphs 
of Ita]i?n mediaival trade guilds, as there is for the 
most t. isiastic admirer of ancient pictures, which, 
parenthetically, he frequently does not understand I 
Just at present there happens to be a world-wide 
movement to secure foreign trade through organized 
effort by mercantile associations, and time spent 
on studying the successful efforts along these same 
lines by Italian merchants of the Middle Ages will 
be well spent. The French system of co-ordinate 
effort by chambers of commerce and government 
is thus for the best modern plan, but even it 
cannot surpass the admirably organized guilds of 

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Florence and her sister cities during the 14th 
and 15th centuries. It is carefully thought-out 
organization which wins results, and in this the 
early Italians are not yet equaUed. Nor were these 
guilds useful alone for the commercial purpose for 
which they were primarily constituted. Savonarola 
was not the only man astute enough to realize this 
fact. Investigation will reveal that they provided 
the foundation on which were erected the early 
Republics. One is moved to query in passing 
if the failure of the first French attempts at a 
republic were not due to a lack of a basis of 
just such organizations of already tested efficiency. 
These guilds were to be found in all the important 
Italian cities, and the stronger and better their 
organization the more powerful the municipal 
government based thereon. These bodies of 
workers can be traced far back into the history of 
the country. An early Roman inscription at Pisa 
records that a son of a soldier of the loth Praetorian 
Cohort bequeathed 4000 sesterces to "the most 
ancient and worthy guild of shipwrights." That 
the deceased was canny as well as generous appears 
from the clause ordaining that if the shipwrights 
failed to make the required annual sacrifices at 

64 



Cortona 



his grave, they must deliver the money to the 
carpenters who were then to undertake the 
memorial services. During the second century 
we find a guild controlling the amount and price 
of timber to be floated down the Arno destined for 
Rome. The history of the Florentine wool guilds 
and their kindred bodies is the history of the early 
commercial importance and growth in power of that 
great city. We finally see her associated trades 
under the superintendence of the silk makers 
building the Church of Or San Michele and 
decorating its walls with their patron saints. What 
an inspiring sight it must have been when, upon 
the Saint's day of some particular trade, a solemn 
procession of all its members in brave array marched 
behind their banners to give thanks in Or San 
Michele to the patron saint who watched over their 
industry. 

It is, however, to Cortona that we must go to 
find a church whose construction is actually owed 
to a company of merchants. We read that in a 
suburb of the town called Calcinaio, a certain 
picture of the Virgin began to work so many 
marvels that the guild of shoemakers, owning a 
tract of land there, was fired with such pious zeal 

65 F 



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as to donate its land, and begin thereon the con- 
struction of a church to house the sacred painting. 
Not only was the work carried through to a 
triumphant conclusion, but it was actually finished 
in thirty years (1484-1516) which almost breaks 
the record for mediaeval church construction— a 
businesslike feat by business men ! 

Now let us for the moment resist the tempta- 
tion to delve further into the fascinating lore of the 
Italian guilds, and resuming our r6le of sight-seeing 
tourists, set out for this sanctuary of the worthy 
shoemakers. 

As one proqeeds from Perugia northward up 
the Umbrian Plain, whether by the railway, restricted 
to its steel line (and to some extent by time tables !) 
or by the individualistic rambling of a motor car, 
the most striking feature of the landscape will be 
Lake Trasimene, studded with islands, its waters 
now beautiful in their calm, now lashed into 
boisterous waves by the winds that have free access 
from every side. The bed of this lake is now 
being made to yield up the treasures buried 
beneath its waves during the old Etruscan and 
Roman times, and many a museum boasts of a 
share in these recovered trophies. It was on the 

66 



Cortona 

very road we are travelling, near the northern end 
of the lake, that Hannibal indulged himself in one 
of those practical hints on military strategy which 
he occasionally inflicted upon the Romans. This 
time he laid particular stress on the need for scout- 
ing, and the disadvantage frequently resulting from 
doing as the enemy would have you do. The 
Roman General Flaminius held Arezzo, thinking 
that Hannibal on his march from the valley of the 
Arno southward to Rome would surely not leave 
such a strongly garrisoned post behind him. But 
Hannibal, preferring to choose his own battlefield, 
marched by Arezzo, entirely ignoring the Romans. 
Now nobody likes to be ignored, and Flaminius set 
out hotfoot after him, so intent on catching the 
Carthaginians that he forgot to notice until too late, 
that he had hurried into an ambush, Hannibal 
blocking the road with the main body of his army, 
while his lighter troops occupied the small hills on 
both sides of the road and cut off the rear. The 
Roman army was annihilated, and Flaminius died 
with his men. 

As we proceed on our northerly journey, 
accompanied at a respectful distance on either side 
by the flanking line of hills, the next striking object 

67 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

in the landscape is a rounded height that rises 
steeply on our right, crowned with fortresslike 
G}rtona. This place should be endeared to our 
memory as having long been the home of William 
de Marcillat. Of him there was for a long time 
but little known, and that little narrated by the 
agreeable but inaccurate Vasari, the most misleading 
of gossips. Recently, however, William's journal 
and account-book have been discovered stored away 
in the State Archives at Florence among the papers 
of the Abbey of Camaldoli. They enlighten us 
completely as to where he worked, for whom, and 
also as to the pupils whom he encouraged by his 
genius. The two masterpieces of his which used 
to adorn the cathedral at Cortona have disappeared, 
one to dwell in the Victoria and Albert Museum 
in London, and the other to cross the Atlantic and 
bury itself in seclusion somewhere in America. We 
shall be consoled, however, if half-way up the road 
which climbs to Cortona we stop in the suburb 
called Calcinaio. In its church there are three fine 
examples of this master, one being a handsome 
bull's eye window, while the other two are of the 
usual rectangular shape. The occhio in the facade 
represents our Mother of Mercy recc^ , under 

68 






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tnese kneeling fig„re, are Pope Leo y p„„ * 

MaximUian I, and Cardinal 'Z "° *' ^^"'P""" 
> »na k,ardinal Francesco Soderini 
In one «an«p. i, ,,, ,^ ^^"^ 

and opposite. St Sebastian. The latter Z ,1 ! . 

"Will.™., ,,^„^„^;^-;-d- 

,1,, k 1 '^'"'''"™ to encroach upon 

«« border, „ does also .he he«l of the che^b 
P«p.ng down fton, ,^,^ ^ ™b 

conventions as borders «^ . -.i. 

with humiiit,. ZZu^:, . "■*" """ ""• 

William de Ma^l 1 I T "''''^'' *« 
ue iwarcUJat was but the Italian wav of 

-ord.ng that he can,e fton, Marseilles, buT'o^ 
we know that his father'. 

"«i nis ratiiers name aoDeaM ;« *u 

.H^n:^.e;rL"'ir^"^''«''-^ 

» eager lace, reads hke an old romance 
Bon, near B„„^« ;„ p^„_ ,, ~ 

to the <,u.et pursuit of his art studies. Hardl, htd 
ke arrived at man's estate before he became involved 
in a auarr(>I mJi.Vk i. . . "«vuivca 



quarrel which resulted in the loss 
W.Il«m fled to Nevers and sought 

69 



of a life, and 
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taking monastic vows. Both at Bourges and Nevers 
he doubtless benefited by observing their fine 
windows. His budding talent as a gla;.s painter 
becaine so well known that when Pope Julius II 
summoned the French master, Claudf, to Rome, 
he took William with him as an assistant. Soon 
after reaching Rome, Claude died and left William 
to carry on the work alone. His gifted nature 
proved so receptive to the burst of artistic creation 
by which Michael Angelo, Raphael, and manv 
another were then glorifying Rome that William 
became the greatest glass painter of the i6th 
century. He was a gorgeous colourist ; but his 
most noteworthy contribution to the craft in Italy 
was the introduction of perspective, in the use of 
which he was a master. Instead of employing 
a;chitectural detail as part of the decoration of his 
design (as had theretofore been customary) he 
relegated it to its proper duty of assisting his space 
composition, and the placing of his figures. Vasari 
comments on the skill he displayed in so lending 
the brighter colours to his important figures, and 
leaving only the duller ones for the less important, 
as if to indicate, by this very tone discrimination, 
the degrees of interest deserved by the different 

70 



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Cortona 

part, of th« picture. This comment touches a 
wide ar.d undeveloped field, which deserves further 
exploration than it has hitherto received. It has 
alluring possibilities of new and tcUing effect, in 
stained glass. William left behind him a series of 
masterpieces surpassing anything produced by his 
contemporaries in either the land of his birth and 
youth, or in that of his adoption and his prime. 
We will see more of his work in Arezzo. 

Cortona provides a centre from which to visit 
sundry isolated examples of William's genius. 
There is a fine occhio glazed by him at Monte San 
Savino, 25 kilometres to the west, and 7 kilometres 
south thereof, in fhe church of P.eve Vecchio a^ 
Lucignano, there are also interesting proofs of his 
skill Lucignano lies 20 kUometres west of Cortona 
While these are not of sufficient importance to 
delay aU of our company, there may be some who, 
won by the charm of this Umbrian country, will 
welcome these hints as an excuse for lingering 
longer in it. 



71 



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AREZZO 

TS lofty Umbrun plain sweeps north- 
ward between its flanking lines of hills, 
and at its northern end on a tilted 
rocky uplift is stationed Arezzo, look- 
ing for all the world like a slowly rising, half roused 
guardian lion. Beyond again to the north this 
plateau falls rapidly away, its waters gradually in- 
creasing the mountain streams until they together 
form the river Arno, whose course but briefly 
checked by the weirs at Florence turns westward 
and finally bids us adieu at Pisa just before it 
disappears into the Mediterranean. Stationed thus, 
!)etween the Umbrian plain and all that part of 
Tuscany known as the Val d'Arno, Arezzo has 
attained a greater importance than its population 
would seem to warrant. Its railway station lies in 
that lower part of the city which is on the plain, 
and above it the streets sweep upward until, when 
the height is reached on which is built the cathedral, 
we find ourselves afibrded a delightful prospect over 

72 






Arczzo 



the smiling country below. If yo\ arc fortunate 
enough to enjoy this view in the : ringtime, do 
not fail *o notice the strange green produced on 
the plain below by the combination of the foliage 
of the frequent olive-trees against th new grass. 
Remember this colour when you enter the cathedral 
and it may help you to understand whence come 
the soft greens that you will sec iu Its windows. 
Unusual too is the struct f *he chi rch, — no 

windows at all on its north M ; but tur about 

and look to the south, am ^!e amends «ill be 

made to you. Along the »» ,sf tin. aisfc o. i that 
side is ranged a series of fiv^ ^e emnrasurcs, and 
nowhere in the world will > w find mt&te spier iid 
examples of i6th century glazing t'-^m N«ri delight 
your eyes- "splendid" is the onH »wJ one can 
use to describe them, for notwithtr* ^ding the per- 
fection of the drawing, t^ c skill »t' ^ space com- 
position, and the complete realizat f everything 
to be made out of g, s, it i^ aft * ill th^ daring 
splendour of the colouring th»r ^e^-es and capti- 
vates. Here, William de Mar * at his best. 
In the usual i6th century fashion, i, ases CUssical 
architecture as a background fo his figures and 
also to aid in disposing them throughout the 

73 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

compotition. But wh«t edifices he builds I— not at 
all the usual type so well known in the popular 
Renaissancs windows of the north. H«rc, columns 
of green malachite, of red porphyry, and of poly- 
chrome marble vie in brightness with parti-coloured 
pavements of rich hues. Frequently we notice in 
this radiant architecture as well as in the brave 
attire of his richly-clad personages the subtle soft 
greens peculiar to him, and oi ^hich we have 
already spoken. Nor is the brightness nor the 
combination of his tones and tints the only proof 
of his skill, for where in glass is there to be found 
a better drawing of the nude than Lazarus rising 
from the tomb ? Neither does he hesiute which 
part of his palette to use— what could be more 
daring or moro successful than the salmon pink 
clouds above the Baptism of Christ 1 Magnificent 
as are these great pictures, in no way inferior is 
the admirable Descent of the Holy Ghost up in 
the large bull's eye of the west front. As if to 
complete the proof of his crsatility he turned from 
these large effects to the adroit glazing of the small 
lancet in the east wall just north of the apse. Here 
a skilfully unconventional use of architectural detail 
balances the two carefully drawn figures. Up in 

74 



Arczzo 






the dereitory along the south tide are live large 
bull'* eyes, of which the two most westerly are 
glazed in colour, but obviously of the 1 5th century 
— a rather stiflf adaption of four upright figures to 
each round embrasure. One would suspect that 
we have here the intervention of a foreign hand, 
for the Italians were never at fault in adjusting 
their pictures to a circular frame. Upon the vaults 
of the ceiling above are a further proof of William's 
versatility, for here is spread out a series of excellent 
frescoes, upon which he was engaged at the time 
of his death. 

Nor did William confine his efforts to the 
cathedral alone, for at the churches of San Fran- 
cesco and the Annunziata he left behind him enough 
to have called us to Arezzo even had there been 
no cathedral. At San Francesco a large occhio in 
the west front gave him an ample opportunity to 
display his skill as designer and colourist in the 
portrayal of St. Francis of Assisi and his monks 
before Pope Honorius III. Here again we see the 
warm-tinted marbles against the background of blue 
sky. What could be finer than the mannei* in 
which the simple, pale garb of the kneeling St. 
Francis and his followers in the centre is contrasted 

75 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

with the gorgeous company of the Pope and his 
attendant Cardinals ? 

At the Annunziata, our admiration is not con- 
fined to one window. A small occhio on the right 
as we enter has a pleasing scene of the espousal 
of the Virgin, the calm group in the centre con- 
trasting with the vigorous action of the disappointed 
suitors at the sides breaking their wands. Along 
the sides of the nave are a number of rectangular 
windows showing coloured figures on a field of 
white lozenges, surrounded by yellow stain borders. 
There are other satisfactory windows of the usual 
type m the transepts. William's most important 
effort IS high up in the semi-circular apse, while below 
.t are three windows showing conventional saint, 
in Renaissance canopies. This large round window 
of his displays in its lower part his usual dexterity 
.n setting forth an agreeable landscape peopled with 
well-drawn coloured figures. Above, in a strongly 
accentuated oval enclosure, is the Virgin, and very 
ingenious is the way in which he has made her the 
focus of his picture, both by splashes of red and 
other colour devices. William reveals himself at 
Arezzo as a colourist, a draughtsman, and a deft 
manipulator of the possibilities of stained glass 

76 



Arezzo 

such as the craft never produced in any other 
country. 

Before leaving Arezzo one should visit the 
ancient church of the Pieve. The promise held 
out by the gallery-on-gallery of columns which 
adorn its facade is borne out by the interesting 
early architecture within, but the special purpose 
of our visit will be to note in the south wall a 
small deeply-set round embrasure, whose seven 
circular apertures are filled with translucent light 
grey alabaster. It is from such quaint beginnings 
that there developed the craft which adorned the 
cathedral with the splendid triumphs of William de 
Marcillat. 

North-west of Arezzo, across the Arno, and 
about lo kilometres away, is the town of Siicina, 
lying close by Capolana. There is but little glass 
here, but there is enough to afford some leisurely 
pilgrim an excuse for another day in Umbria. 



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FLORENCE 

WHATEVER be the purpose of one's in- 
vestigation of the centuries when our 
glass was made, sooner or later there 
is sure to be encountered traces of the 
warm appreciation then enjoyed by the profession 
of the diplomat. Nowhere in the whole peninsula 
caw this fact more appropriately give us pause than 
m Florence, for in the annals of medieval Italian 
diplomacy no State attained a higher rank than she. 
How widely this fact was recognized and utilized 
IS strikingly evidenced by the astonishment of Pope 
Boniface VIII on remarking that all the ambas- 
sadors sent to represent the Christian Powers at 
the Jubilee of 1300 were Florentines. No diplomat 
of the old school bore so famous a name as that 
of her subtle and unscrupulous citizen, Machiavelli, 
indeed so typical of it was he that an iUustrativc 
adjective has been derived from his name. Much 
as we may to^iay object to his ^oint of view, there 
IS no gainsaying his pre-eminence among his 

78 



Florence 

contemporaries, nor doubt of the diplomatic suc- 
cesses gained for Florence through his teachings. 
Fortunately, the world is coming to know that 
greater and more permanent results are obtainable 
from what John Hay, when Secretary of State, 
called the diplomacy of the Golden Rule—" What- 
soever ye would that men should do to you, do ye 
even so to them." But, in its day, it is undeniable 
that the Machiavellian system proved effective 
against others of similar kind, and it will be of 
interest to us, as students of those times, to see 
what were the ends it most sought to serve. In 
what cause did Florentine diplomacy win its 
triumphs ? Many of us will be surprised to learn 
that it was along the lines of what has been recently 
named "doUar diplomacy,"--that is, by striving 
to assist abroad the commercial interests of the 
State. No sooner had the merchant guilds estab- 
^shed their industries on a firm basis at home than 
Florentme diplomacy sprang to their assistance, and 
bent aU ,ts energies to secure them an outlet abroad 
Dollar diplomacy "was well understood and suc- 
cessfuUy practised in Florence centuries before that 
phrase was coined in America. Just glance throu ; 
the pages of Florentine history and what do you 

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find ? Isn't it dear that the reason for the per- 
sistent policy of the Medicis in assisting Milan 
against the Venetians is found in the former's 
willingness to keep open the northern mountain 
passes so that the Florentine merchants could push 
their trade in northern Europe, while Venice, on 
the contrary, was for stifling Florentine exporters 
by closing those avenues of commerce? Again, 
when the goldsmiths of Florence had succeeded in 
producing a coin of marked excellence, did not 
Florentine diplomacy materially assist to popularize 
abroad this florin, as it was called ?— a coin destined 
to gain such wide currency that the employment 
of its name has persisted to this day. If space 
allowed, instances might be multiplied of the can..^ 
Florentine merchant relying on the diplomatic assist- 
ance of his State to gain and hold for him trade 
advantages, whose use none knew better than him- 
self. The long struggle to seize and hold Pisa 
was actuated by the desire to provide Florentine 
merchants with an easy outlet to the Mediter- 
ranean, and a participation in the profitable carrying 
trade of that sea. It was but seldom that Florence 
could find much interest in a war that did not in 
some way assist he: trade, for the aim of her 

80 



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Florence 

diplomacy, peaceful or warlike, was commerce 
rather than conquest. Not territory but trade, 
and only territory when it furthered trade. Judging 
from its results, the "florin diplomacy" of the 
Middle Ages was as successful as the most active 
"dollar diplomacy" of to-day. Nor did Florence 
think it needful to employ specially trained diplo- 
mats, for so general was her recognition of the 
utility of diplomacy, that she seemed to breed 
diplomats in every street. No, when Florence 
found herself confronted with a task needing diplo- 
matic solution, she selected the man deemed suit- 
able to that piece of work. For example, when 
it was the moment to fling down the gauntlet to 
the neighbouring city of San Gemignano, Dante, 
the imperious-minded and intolerant poet, was 
chosen to bear the Florentine message of defiance. 
When, however, an occasion arose requiring con- 
cUiatory measures, they selected as their envoy 
the fair-spoken and smooth-tongued MachiavelH 
or Guicciardini. 

Ic it not easy to imagine for oneself the diplo- 
matic policies of the Signoria being discussed by 
the keen-witted citizens, either on the shop- 
bordered pathway that leads across the Ponte 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

Vecchio, or in the airy shade of the Loggia dei 
Lanzi, or on cool days when the tramontana 
blew, in the sheltered sunny spaces about the 
Duomo, or in that dignified square before the 
Palazzo Vecchio ! A growing and a busy city is 
Florence, and yet among the hurrying throng are 
faces of the old types among whom the old-world 
setting of the streets helps us to picture certain 
of her ancient worthies. See I down that narrow, 
dark lane, stalks some stern-featured Dante, a 
poetic survival of the old Florence that existed 
before the new city burst into that broader life 
which was symbolized by the surging skywards 
of the wondrous dome of Brunelleschi and of Santa 
Croce and Sante Maria Novella, the rival establish- 
ments of the Dominicans and the Franciscans. Dante 
and the men of his time were truculendy satisfied 
with the Florence of their day, and pointed with 
complacence to the sturdy Baptistery lined with 
range on range of rich mosaics, and to that union 
of feiry grace and colour with trim strength, the 
bell tower that alone would have immortalized 
Giotto. All these Florentines, be they of the 
older conservative group, or of their successors 
who looked forward with wider horizon, each and 

82 



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several possessed that eager confidence which was 
the haU-mark of Florentine patriotism. Whatever 
there was to be done would of course, said they, 
be accomplished, and the only useful thought was 
that expended on how to do it I Men could 
always be found, and easily, too. Had not a 
J Cimabue come forward to break the chains of 
Byzantine formalism that were felt to be fettering 
art, and, when further progress was needed, had 
he not discovered a shepherd's lad named Giotto, 
drawing sheep in a lifelike manner, theretofore' 
unknown! When the Baptistery had to be 
adorned with finer bronze doors than any rival 
city could show, did not there appear a youth of 
eighteen, Lorenzo Ghiberti, of such mature genius 
as to defeat many distinguished competitors ! With 
a constant recurrence of :.uch miracles of artistic 
productivity, would any doubt of the city's power 
to produce men for every emergency be aught else 
but sheer disloyalty to the lily-broidered banner 1 

There are so many angles and points of view 
from which one may regard the life and people 
of this fascinating town, that the Florence of 
one reader may be quite different from the one 
upon which another loves to muse. And some 

83 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

of these vignettes wiU show a modern aspect— 
for example, the Florence of Browning, for she 
is peculiarly haunted with memories of him. Go 
to the square in front of the Innocenti, and there 
astride his bronze horse is the Duke forever 
regarding the window where so long, to watch 
him passing, sat the disconsolate inamorata of 
"The Statue and the Bust." The "Ring and 
the Book " is about you everywhere, for although 
it ends in Rome, it begins here with the purchase 
of "the Book" in the square of San Lorenzo. 
Across from the Pitti Palace Browning and his 
gifted wife lived for many years, and there she 
wrote « Casa Guidi Windows " and other poems. 

There are many who believe that the history 
of great individuals provides the most trustworthy 
exposition of the life of their times. Certainly, 
the lives of the great Florentines would seem 
peculiarly to justify this belief. So strongly are 
they stamped with the cachet of their city that 
even the briefest study of their careers inevitably 
weaves us back into the history of the town. 
Always is this true, from the most ambitiously 
grasping of the Medicis to that meek soul, Fra 
Angelico, declining the Pope's offer of the Bi;.hop's 

84 






Florence 

mitre— from the broad genius of Michael Angelo 
to the narrow outlook of MachiaveUi— from 
Cimabue, the pioneer, through Giotto the natural, 
to the most finished exponent of Florentine art. 
Ever and always these master minds will be found 
indelibly marked with the characteristics of their 
strenuous commonwealth, and you can no more 
understand them apart from it than you can 
imagine ivy standing aloof from its supporting 
wall. 

But enough ! we must resist the fascination 

of Florence in general, and betake ourselves to 

her windows. Not only has she a gratifying 

quantity of ancient stained glass, but it is mostly 

of the best Italian period, the 15th century, and, 

furthermore, unsurpassed of its kind. It is chiefly 

to be seen in the Duomo, the two large churches 

of Santa Maria NoveUa and Santa Croce, the smaller 

sanctuary of Or San Michele, and the Laurentian 

Library. Across the Arno, in Santo Spirito, there 

is also a fine round window or occhio, attributed 

to Perugino. It represents the « Descent of the 

Holy Ghost," and is the only examnle in Italy 

of brusquely horizontal grouping i. ,:. occhio, 

with no attempt to adjust the picture to the 

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circultr spue. The border which c-idotet it it 
of the richest Renaissance colouring and detail. 
Fine as is this window, it is but one of thirteen 
splendid occhi of which the city can rightly boast. 
The Duomo alone contains ten of these peculiarly 
Italian windows, three in the western ^M^de, and 
seven ranged around below Brunelleschi's dome. 
The eighth embrasure in the dome, the one to 
the west, is glazed in white, the better to light 
the altar, standing below and to the east of it. 
Each one of these seven deserves a special account, 
so delightful are they in design and colour, but 
we must content Ourselves with saying that they 
set forth admirably drawn scenes from the life of 
the Saviour. The borders deserve particular notice 
for their wealth of decoration, especially the one 
to the east, composed of angel's heads each sur- 
rounded by a halo. The drawings for this series 
of seven were provided by Lorenzo Ghiberti, 
Donatello, Paolo Uccello, and Perugino. Ghiberti 
also drew the cartoons for the splendid round 
lights that pierce the west front, one huge one 
high up in the middle, flanked by two of more 
modest size, lower down and just above the side 
portals. These smaller ones both evidence the 

86 



Florence 

customary Italian skill in adjusting the figures to 
a circular embrasure, the golden backs of the seats 
lending the required breadth to the grouping. 
The great central occhio is a really splendid effect 
in glass, showing the " Assumption of the Virgin " 
in a blaze of colour and amidst a swirl of angels' 
wings that is altogether admirable. 

Most foreigners who visit the Duomo will go 
away without discovering the trick that the archi- 
tects have played upon them in the matter of 
the nave windows. From the inside there seem 
to be four tall lancets on each side, but outside 
there are six in both the north and the south 
wall. How is it done ! Return to the interior, 
look more carefully, and you will find that 
westerly pair on each side are filled with mo 
instead of glass, and that those to the east vf 
them have either become so begrimed (or else 
had their opacity lessened by paint!) as not, by 
their superior translucence, to betray the trick. 
The explanation is that the wall plans of the 
nave were changed before their construction was 
finished, and this device was employed to avoid 
the appearance within of too many lancets in the 
western half of the structure. The easterly pair 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

of lights on each side are more interesting than 
beautiful. They date from the closing years of 
the 14th century (1394-6), and are among the 
few examples in Italy of the canopy style so 
common north of the Alps. Each lancet has six 
sainis, :ach in his own elaborate niche, two on 
a tier a border separating them perpendicularly 
;;i;ter..d of, as usual, only running around outside 
next the stonework. We have just explained why 
they are so opaque, and this very loss of trans- 
lucence has robbed them of almost all the beauty 
they ever had. Thus are they justly punished for 
their connivance in the trick upon the unsuspect- 
ing stranger ! 

And now for a treat such as even ancient stained 
glass cannot often offer. Come with us beneath 
the dome, and look out into the apse or into either 
of the transepts. Alike in dimensions, they are 
glazed in absolutely the same manner. Above and 
below run a series of ample lights filled with 
stately figures richly robed, and of colour so deep 
and warm that it is almost pulsating. When 
gazing on them one recalls Huneker's admirable 
translation of Huysman's word picture: "the 
bugle cry of red, the limpid confidence of white, 

88 



Florence 

the repeated hallelujah of yellow, the virginal glory 
of blue, all the quivering crucible of glass." No- 
where are there tones so mellow, so harmonious. 
Nor IS there here any jarring contrast from light 
panes used for canopies-architecture is shown, but 
of such radiant hues as to aid the strength of the 
picture instead of being merely a contrasting frame 
Five wmdows above, and the same number below 
a total of ten for each transept and for the apse 
in aU a magnificent series of thirty. Certain of the 
north transept lights have white glass in their 
upper halves, but they are so placed that you do 
not see them as you look north from below the 
dome. The sci me of the designs is the same 
throughout; above, a large single figure, and in 
the lower lights a pair of them, not. as usual, each 
ngidly stationed in his own half, but turning 
slighdy toward one another, and rather nearer the 
centre than the sides-very graceful and agreeable. 
The wnter prefers the ensemble of the south 
transept, but that is entirely a matter of taste. 
See them for yourself, and make your own decision. 
Th,s glorious g.-ing was done during the absolute 
high tide of the art, 1432-43. u ;, k„„^„ ^j^^^ 
a German was fetched from Lubeck to take part 

89 



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in the work, but be that as it may, the result is 
clearly Italian, and not German. There is so 
much in it to admire, that it seems invidious to 
call attention to any detail, but we cannot turn 
away without giving special praise to the pains 
spent upon enriching the brocade of the costumes, 
and also the glorious Italian rendering of the 
canopies. The warm tones given the stones is a 
truthful echo of the wondrous rosy hues of the 
cathedral's exterior. 

It is quite a change from the spaci,ms, bare 
mterior of the Duomo, to the monastic hive of 
buildmgs at Santa Maria Novella or at Santa Croce, 
where a church is but the centre of a colony of 
chapels, cloisters, and minor edifices. The open space 
before Santa Maria Novella has at either end a small 
obehsk, mute reminders of the days when they 
were the turning goals for the annual chariot races. 
It IS clear that here truly the race was not to the 
swift, but rather to dexterous horsemanship I The 
popularity of these exciting contests caused them 
to outlive many another ancient custom. Lady 
Dorothy NeviU, in her delightful memoirs, speaks 
of having witnessed them in her youth. The 
oldest glass in this church is that which fills the 

90 



Florence 
large occhio „f ,he west front It, division into 
.hr« concentnc circle, i, ceu^nly an older treat- 

^ud the central picture i, a series of smaller 
%ure, ,„ e,ght groups, „hi,e outside of these runs 
" w,de conventional border i„ ,he -orid Italian 
manner Monotony of general tore is avoided by 
the predon,,n.nce of yellows in the lower half. 
y.dd.ng to browns above. The exterior iron bars 
are ar^nged in an unusual fashion and are worth 

"bservng The chief glory of the interior is the 
sp«ous chapel behind ,h. altar, where the glaring 

of the three ample lancets is in eve^„,,torthy 
to ^company .he charming frescoes of Ghirlandajo 

from the h.stonc year ,„j. „„, jiffi,.,,, f^ ,__ 
American to remember. They were instaBed two 
y«rs after the frescoes were finished. Notice .he 
appczmg borders of fruits mixed with flowers. 
We see here many Florentine features, viz. deep 
blue backgrounds, coloured marbles, use of a soft 

SfiirT""" °' '"^'"^ «'• The saints 
wh,ch fiU the two side lancets are replaced in the 

larger central one by three groups one above the 

other, .ncreasing in their proportions as they 

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descend. The red apples in the smaU tree at the 
top look as edible as the fruit in the borders. 
Notice the rich barrel vaulting with its gold bosses 
in the central picture. The artist frequently em- 
ploys an unusual and effective wine colour in the 
garments of his figures. So important is the glaz- 
ing of this chapel, that it overshadows the fine 
window by Filippo Lippi in the adjoining chapel to 
the south. This is later workmanship (1502) and 
shows too much surface painting. Dark green is 
employed instead of the light shade usual in 
Tuscany, and the general effect is so much heavier 
than that of the central chapel, that it yields a better 
effect when seen from the nave than from nearer at 
hand. The chapel which closes the end of the north 
transept has an earlier window than those just 
described. The canopies here are much simpler 
and enclose two figures, one above the other. The 
richness of the red robe of the upper one is very 
pleasing. There should also be noticed three win- 
dows in the chapels at the north-east. They show 
similar treatment throughout, a border of deep 
yeUow stain enclosing Renaissance arabesques, with 
a coat of arms in the centre of each. In the west 
wall of a smaU room to the south-west of the south 

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transept are two circular embrasures filUd u,V. 
roundels whose size increases a, th 

^^--e;thisisunr::ritr°cr'°: 

courts and ,uad.ngles lie all ^bL?;^^^^^^^^ 
d^cnng .n plan and importance, and one i git 
fied by possessing the so^alled Soanish rf 
wHose^escoes have aroused the e'^u L ^ 
Jong Ime of critics. But .hat has to T u 

ob«rv.d opening off i« f„„H„, ,,^ ,^^ ^^ ^ 
Chapel, a pure example of , .^u of building „" 
uncommon in lul,. Upon , .^o. ,r J 1^^ 
cross ,s supenmposed a smaB don,e. The d„^ 

:::'*""'"'" '^ """-^ •" r.. and ad"; 

Mue hannon. ag^y^ ^,, ^ „^_|^ ^^^ 

Robba medallions. Over the >If„ ■ 

windo.B,Baldovinetti,tLt1il::X7j^^^ 

wooUy white beard disclosing the author Z'^l' 

^ the smaU circular opening above is a busf d 

»g«m we see the Baldovinetti beard Altho K k 
richness of the glass is in . T ^'''^^^^ '^« 
ne giass ,s m striking contrast to the 

93 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

low tones of the chapel, a concession is made by a 
liberal use of light, almost opalescent, blue in various 
parts of the design. 

Entering the large T-shaped church, we at once 
realize that an ample display of glass awaits our 
investigation. The writer prefers the large occhio 
in the western front to any other in Italy. Per- 
haps it is not the finest, but his reason for pre- 
ferring it is sin.:iar to that of people who prefer 
early tapestries to the most perfect Gobelins. The 
Gobelins are copies of oil paintings, while the 
cartoons of their forerunners were obviously made 
for tapestries alone, and therefore show a know- 
ledge both of the possibilities and the limitations 
of weaving, which the Gobelins often disregarded. 
This window shows the Descent from the Crojs, 
and whoever drew the cartoon for it thoroughly 
understood how to make the most of glazing in 
colour. The disposal of the figures over the 
entire surface is admirable. Nothing could be 
neater than the adjustment of the trees below, or of 
the flying angels above. As was to be expected, the 
background is blue and there is a liberal use of 
soft greens in the rest of the picture. Unless I am 
much mistaken you will pay several visits to this 

94 




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occhio before you leave Florence. Down each side 
of the nave are UU lancets, most of them glazed in 
colour, generally showing single figures in canopies 
which, with two exceptions, are Gothic. There are 
two tiers of these enshrined saints, and two on each 
tier. The tones are of the usual 15th century 
richness, but the restorer has frequently let his 
zeal run away with his reverence for the antique. 
This is particularly true of the northern lancets, and 
also of the three tall double ones which light the 
shallow chapel back of the high altar. One has only 
to sund off at a distance to detect the thin-toncd 
new panes among the richer and deeper old ones. 
Above and to the right and left of the chapel aper- 
ture, two tall narrow lancets pierce the wall, and 
these still preserve their old glazing-a triple tier 
of canopied figures, with a medallion at the very top. 
They are placed so high as to rob them of much of 
their value, and this prepares us to appreciate the 
fecility for close inspection aflbrded by the window 
of the chapel closing the end of the south transept 
The pattern of the border, a winding vine with 
yellow and green leaves on a blue and red ground 
shows this to be early work, as does also the 
elementary character of the Gothic canopies ; the 

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T IT"? ""'" "" •"« P"««"«< very , 
When this ghiing was done. 

-M. church „ ,h. „„i,„ „„ ,„ 

••II of the chapel « ,he end of the nor, 
.'"n«p.. I, ,00k, ,i,, „.,.,^,, "2 

" ""''.^ "'' "-"J- '"e "riter h« ev„ «e, 

rdlow hon, on blue, or long-tailed red bird, o, 
Wue. or green one, on red, etc. The fiequen 

the wh,,e note „ often .truck in .hi, ,i„<,„„ 
Golden «eur, de li. on blue abound, approprf... „ 

c,e„ed<igureofl.„i,,XofFn.nce.,ho.b" 

•" '• ! ""'^ '"Sg«tion of a canopy i, ,hc 
P0.n ted ..h n,ade by a white line above ,hT«l« 

«ngel, wh,ch rechne upon the sloping ,ide, of ,he« 
Pomted arches. Thev «m,ri», 
Italian ™- .• 7^ "raW'mes appear in early 
Itahan pa,n„ng,, but not on gl.„. Altogether 

.l.«w,ndowi,a,ch.r„,inga,i,i,unu,ual. 

Qu... dift,«„t ft„„, rt, ,p„,.„„^ .___^^.^^^ ^^ 

96 



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Florence 

have ju,t been frequenting i, the small church of 
Or San M.chele. erected by the guilds of Florence 
under the special superintendence of the silk 
merchants, and adorned outside by a serie. of 
handsomely niched statues of iSeir patron saints. 
Surpnsed .ndeed are we to learn that above the 
church ,s a large storehouse built to hold corn, but 
th.» .» not the only novel feature of this quaint 
7"""^- The altar is not in the middle but is 
placed to the north so as to balance the gorgeous 
tabernacle of Orcagna ,ut,oned to the .outh So 
too the window embrasures are peculiar in shape, 
and abbrevated. The glass is more archaic in design 
than that which we have been examining, and it 
does not take long to notice that the four most 
easterly wmdows are earlier than the six to the west 
of them The easterly ones tend as strongly to 
reds and blues as the others do to yellows and 
greens On all side, is a multitude of small people 
grouped m engaging scenes, and nowhere any sign 
of restraint from conventional canopies. The ray- 
'■ke shts m the traceries are differently treated- 
■n one place we have small angels arranged like 

hc^ngs in a barrel, while in another the extended 
w.ng, of cherubs fill these narrow radiating apertures. 

97 H 



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Parts of six of the windows have purposely been 
left white, but the older four to the east are 
entirely glazed in colour. Or San Michele aflbrds 
a delightful proof that during their struggle for 
commercial supremacy the Florentine guilds raised 
their artistic standard rather than neglected it. 

Thus far we have visited only religious edifices, 
but now we shaU see glass of a secular type, somc- 
thmg far rarer. In the long series of rectangular 
windows in the Laurentian Library there exists one 
of the many monuments to the Medici family, to 
whose patronage of art we moderns owe so much 
And such a series, all similar, fifteen on one side 
and twelve on the other ! The entire surface of 
each IS given over to arabesques, griffins, etc., out- 
lined in grey and soft browns, the general effect 
being meUowed by a judicious use of low pinks 
and blues. Of course the six balls of the Medici 
arms are given due prominence, and on many or 
the windows appear dates, ,558, 1567, 1^68. 
Some critics have maintained that the dating of 
some of them subsequent to the dea^'. of da Udinc 
proves that he could not have been the designer, 
general belief to the contraiy notwithstanding. 
May It not be respectfully submitted to these 

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gentlemen that as da Udine was alive when the 
earliest dated window was made, the later dates 
may refer to their glazing and installation, and not 
to the original cartoons ? It would seem that these 
cnt.cs could make out a stronger case if they would 
confine themselves to pointing out how inferior this 
glass is to da Udine's work at the Certosa in the 
Val d'Ema near Florence. There he used the leads 
to assist in providing the outlines, but here they are 
allowed to break up the surface into squares. Nor 
IS the drawing here anything like so delicate as that 
which charms us at the Certosa. But even in the 
light of this honest criticism it cannot be denied 
that the Laurentian glass produces a satisfactory 
effect. Wherever it has been necessary to fill in 
with new panes, the old spirit has been carefUUy 
mamtamed, even to the employment of the amusing 
httie turtles whose progression is being assisted by 
sails hoisted on their backs. It is much to be 
regretted that so little of ancient domestic glass has 
survived till our time. It fared far worse than that 
instaUed m churches, and more's the pity. 

Such is a brief survey of Florentine windows. 
Because of its wealth in this regard, Florence 
deserves to rank with York, Rouen, Troyes, and 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

Nuremberg, and it will be difficult to make oui 
reader resume his pilgrim's stafF after once he hai 
tarried on the banks of the Arno. But bestir ye 
gentle sirs, there be other sights to seel Ston 
your memories with delightful visions of windows 
seen, and fere ye forth, bent on further acquisitions, 
All pilgrims from across the Atlantic, whether 
Americanized Anglo-Saxons of the north or Ameri- 
canized Latins of South America, should reverently 
repair to the small church of Ognissanti, for there 
lie entombed the mortal remains of that bold 
Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci, to whom 
our hemisphere of liberty owes its name. Would 
that we might bring as much honour to our re- 
spective fatherlands as did our illustrious namegiver 
to Florence I 



100 



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SAN MINIATO 

OVER against the City of Florence, across 
the Arno and outside the walls, 
nses the height called San Miniato 
Demurely quiet as it now appears 
I and peaceful as is the prospect of the ancienrcitJ 
^ below, .t was not always thus. In ,„, J 
ven.tile Michael Angelo became for it, first an 
engineer, and later a warrior, for he fortified and 
defended .t against the Imperial troops during 
thejr long s.ege of Florence. The two ver^ 
dfent approaches to it are equaUy attn^tiv^ 
wheth.-r one elects to drive up the flower- bordered 
U'gzag that mounts from the river through the 
steep park to the open space at the top, or whether 
m more leisurely feshion we go out from the 
Porta Romana and follow the longer road slowly 
Nopmg up through the trees, and enjoying from 
Itnne to t.me charming vistas ofl^ to the left. When 
^the open space at the brow of the hill is reached, 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

one is rewarded by the amazing view of Florence 
lying below us, and across to the hills about 
Fiesole on the other side. Far off to the right 
are the lofty Apennines, and if it chances to be 
the time of the spring showers, we shall see the 
mountains crowned with late snow, for a rain at 
San Miniato will mean snow on the northern 
hills. What a prospect lies before us, and but 
little changed since there looked down upon it 
Michael Angelo or Ghiberti or Benvenuto Cellini, 
or any other of the great Florentines who lived 
after that burst of building that thrust into the 
air Brunelleschi's cathedral dome, Santa Croce, and 
Santa Maria Novella. Over yonder on those 
heights of far Fiesole are the very gardens to 
which Boccaccio's gay and heartless company 
withdrew from the plague-stricken town below 
them, and listened and laughed the awful hours 
away. They s'ill smile at us across the valley of 
the Arno, but this memory puts a grimness in 
the smile. 

San Miniato holds for us lovers of windows 
two edifices, both churches, entirely unlike each 
other. The first to be reached on our upward 
way is San Salvatore, sometimes called San 

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San Miniato 

Francew «1 Monte. Along the sides of the 
nave are modest chapels above whose altars is 
a series of small rectangular windows of interest. 
Over the doorway in the south side is a pleasant 
bit of glazing, whose donor is disclosed by the 
appearance of the Peruzzi arms, the pears with 
the leafy stems. We wiU already have noticed 
those arms in Santa Croce, so enriched by the 
beneftctions of that family. 

Continuing upward we arrive at the old fortifi- 
cations of Michael Angelo, and passing through 
two gates reach the summit and come out upon 
a small paved space before the Church of San 
Miniato al Monte. Its ftjade is encrusted with 
white and black marble, and enlivened with 
mosaics. The pavement upon which we stand is 
also of coloured marble, and within the church this 
pavement shows many quaint arabesques and figures 
worked out in sharply contrasted black and white. 
The eastern end of the interior is divided into 
lower and upper portions, not unusual among early 
churches. The upper half is richly adorned in 
marble and frescoes, and embellished with con- 
ventional Cosmato mosaic. It terminates at the 
east in a semi-circular apse, and nothing could 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

be more delightful than the manner in which 
this apse is lighted. Through its wall of white, 
grey, and black marble are r»ierced five ample 
rectangular embrasures, filled with slabs of trans- 
lucent alabaster. The thicknc^ of this substonce 
is such that although it readily admits the light 
when the sun's rays arc falling directly upon it, 
it almost entirely excludes them when the angle 
becomes too acute. Therefore the fact that these 
windows are stationed in a semi-circle results in 
no two of th«m being lighted to the same extent 
at the same time. Elsewhere in Italy the colour 
of the alabaster used in windows is fiurly even 
in tone, but here it is strongly mottled, the effect 
being almost that of rich pink nuggets in a field 
of grey. It is fascinating to sit here and watch 
these great translucent slabs slowly shift in tone 
as the light upon then varies. One of them 
will be brilliantly lighted, while the one farthest 
from it will have faded into an opaque grey. 
You cannot watch them loi'-f without noticing a 
feature which may have bet-r. studied or may be 
but the fruit of lucky chance. The grey of the 
slabs, which for the moment are opaque, blends 
exactly with the grey marble of the apsf, while 

104 



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in the more translucent windows the light has, by 
contrast, made some denser parts of the alabaster 
as black as the black marbles about it. Thus, 
be the alabaster grey or black, there is always a 
marble to match it, and so it swings through its 
harmony of translucence, accompanied by a double 
bass of grey and black. It is impossible to 
describe in written words the soft meUow glow 
yielded by the San Miniato alabaster— to be 
understood it should not only be seen, but must 
be watched. We will be content, however, with 
your promise to go there for, once before it, you 
will surely fall victim to the alabaster's ever varying 
spell. 



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VAL D'EMA 

NO pilgrimage into the Middle Ages 
such as ours is (or should be !) can 
in any wise be complete if it omits 
a close-at-hand view and understand- 
ing of monastic life— so important a factor in 
mediaeval times. Not only was it a school in which 
many statesmen were trained, but the seclusion of 
its cloisters especially fevoured the study of the 
sciences and the arts, something difficult or im- 
possible in the turbulent world outside. The 
monastic calm in which Fra Angelico painted his 
heavenly figures helps to explain how he obtained 
results so far beyond his contemporaries outside 
the monastery gate. Having laid down this pre- 
mise let us set forth from Florence bound for the 
smUing valley of the Ema, only three miles away. 
In the midst of this valley rises a square eminence, 
capped with an establishment of Carthusian monks, 
and here we may to-day observe the life and 

1 06 



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Val d'Ema 

environment which during the i^th and icth 
centuries must have provided such c^Hking 
contrast to the restless struggles punctuated with 
open stri/e, which characterized the everyday life 
of nearby Florence. 

We enter through the courtyard where the 
lay brothers lived, and pass on through the smal' 
church, the centre of the community's life. At 
the further end of this group of buildings lies 
the largest of the four cloistered quadrangles. It 
.s surrounded by apartments devoted to the brothers 
of the highest monastic . ade. For each nionk 
there .s a bedroom, a study, etc., and also his 
diminutive garden, a few paces in length. Within 
this large quadrangle flowers and bushes spring 
from the green grass beneath which sleep the 
departed Carthusians in their unmarked graves. In 
the centre is the ancient well, its great depth 
ensuring a constant supply of water. We see the 
Refectory i„ which the community partook of its 
frugal meals of vegetables and fish, while one of 
them read aloud from the lives of the saints 
Nor was the life of th.s mcMdsh colony in any 
wise an idle one, for each man had his occupation 
were .t the hewing of wood, or the pain 'ng of 

107 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 
sacred pictures. Below on either side stretches the 
quiet landscape of tiUed fields roUing down to the 
stream that wanders quietly through the vaUejr. 
Here is the "peace that passeth understanding," 
and the leisure for undisturbed service. 

Two epochs of glass are represented here, and 
each by delightful examples. Leaving the church 
by the south portal bent on visiting the exquisitely 
carved tombs of the Acciaiolis below, we come upon 
a lofty lancet on our left, glazed in the pot-metal 
canopy manner, brilliant, satisfying. Each of the 
six panels contains its own enshrined saint, and 
very skilful is the way in which the colours of their 
robes are combined and all thrown out by the blue 
backgrounds within the niches. The amount of 
brassy yeUow used in depicting architecture, the 
frequent use of leaves in the rich border, etc., 
incline one to suspect the assistance of a northern 
glazier. On the other hand, the participation of 
local talent is to be assumed from the frequent 
employment of a certain new-grass green, very light, 
soft and fine, common throughout 'his district. 
Not oniy does it appear in the garnr ,ts, but also 
in the architecture, in the book which St. Lawrence 
holds, in the martyr's palms, etc. This same green 

1 08 



the 
the 




I 



VaJ d*Ema 

is used tOKiay for window blinds all over Tuscany 
so Its popularity would seem to have been an 
enduring one I It is worth while examining the 
details of this glass, so carefuUy have they been 
worked out. For example, note the pains the 
gUzier took with the two white-bearded heads 
His success m contrasting the brown feces with 
the hoary beards must have given him as much 
satisftiction as it does us. 

The cloister walk alongside the northern church 
wall ,s enclosed from the weather by eight windows, 
two of which, however, were left unfinished by the 
artist who achieved such a charming result in the 
remaining six. They are accredited to da Udine, 
who died before his task was completed. Con- 
sidered as windows to be observed close at hand, 
and therefore subjected to unusually critical scrutiny 
they are almost unequaUed. We have already seen 
some of the same type in the Laurentian Library at 
Florence, but of nothing like so choice a quality 
Three designs are used for the six embrasures, they 
being treated in pairs. I„ the centre of each is a 
srr.1: oicture of the late enamelled variety, very 
ow :a tint and daintily drawn. The rest of the 
surface is given over to arabesques enclosed within 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

grey and suin borders. The whole i, relieved 
with , undo, small cupids, and judicious touches of 
•oft blue or mulberry. Most of the oudining is 
done m greyish brown. The borders are so deftly 
interrupted now and again a, to olfiet the danger 
of too many paraUel lines. The most westerly L 
bear the date ,560. The only windows of t^s 
agre^ble domestic type which surpass these are 
the ftimous and much-traveUed Cupid and PykHc 
series at ChantiUy. There are fewer pWr 
excursions than that to the Certosa of the Val 
d Ema, and, for specialists like ourselves, it is not 
often that we can so conveniently examine such 
excellent examples of two contrasting schools of 
stained glass. 



no 



PRATO 

SOMETIMES,. ^„^,,,„^^ 

of quiet, monotonous Prato i,T *' '""'"■»' 

"^ oid. ,.«i^ ,.„ «,,, doo4 V-^™^; 7"« 

pUiOng ,o,w into (he bnuds -h- T , ^ ^'" 

«™ ever ,««i„g ^ „ , ^^ * ^^P' °f «"w 
«rtn. of the bnud,, but ;dwi t . """ 

•«v. them back into It "^"^ ""8"' 

-Wch =ha«cteri„,rke; rT'T"' "«^"^ 

' turning bring, y„„ ° ° "1" ■""« «'«"» 

'-•on fion, the.o,e,.,ti„n~ H ^:"'^ P™" 
' «'n"7 pwel, and „, ,a„e it hi """ " 

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III 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

for centurie., . relic of • buried put which h 

calmly persisted, protected perhaps by its ve 

insecurity. Nor is this the only strange expressic 

of medievalism that has here lingered until oi 

day—a medievalism as difficult to explain from oi 

modern view point as it would be for Eric the R« 

to understand an aeroplane. For instance, wh; 

would to-d*; be said of a painter's audacity if h 

should foUow the example of Filippo Lippi wher 

in his femous frescoes at the cathedral, he show 

us the face and figure of the nun that he won awa^ 

from her holy vows, and who was the mother of hi' 

son Filippino Lippi. S.ic there appears both ai 

Salome and Herodias, and yet there seems to have 

been no objection by the church authorities to this 

selection of lineaments by the great artist ! Truly, 

"The times change and we change with them." 

Before we set foot inside the cathedral, we are 

already feeling its charm by reason of the graceful 

circular pulpit on its outer corner about whose front 

dances the delightful chorus of DonateUo's cherubs. 

Attractiv too arc della Robbia's figures of majolica 

set high in the western fa<.-ade. The importance 

of this sacred structure is due to its possessiiig the 

girdle of the Virgin, closely guarded and greatly 



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honouml^ ,„d once „^ y^^ ^^jy 

P«>pl. from rtc littl. pulpi, o„ttid.. „ f '"' 

M.. ,h. ch.p.. behind d,e „«, confining f'" 

" g.ven o«, „ „ d.bo,^ pi,^. „f ,^^ 
Md,„g ber girdle. .u™„„ded b, .„geU ^ 

7, "'"' "••^ «""P«™en«, c«h confining , 

of .hen^ h„e been „ne«d. The whole i, ,„ 
■o-ded by , rich border of „d „„„ Jl " 
wnh golden ,iHe. Here .here ,ppe^ ^ J 

Duon,o in Florence, „„e of .he ^Cn. L 

conLthi.. ""'""«'•""'' "»»y --iicion. 

The Church of M«ion„a deUe Crceri J„ 

merits a v wit ; it is „(• .l. . " "^ 

of the not unusual tj-pe of 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

blunt Latin cross surmounted by a cupola. 01 
stained glass fills three ample rectangular embrasure 
stationed high up, one on the north, another on th 
west, and the third on the south. The Visitatioi 
scene on the north contains too much conventiona 
architecture, and is chiefly interesting for th 
excellent blue of one of the figures, and th 
unusually deep purple of the other. The wes 
window, showing the Annunciation, also has to( 
much architecture, but here it is more ingeniousl) 
employed, the colonnade running up firom left tc 
right serving to centre attention upon the Virgin, 
seated under a dainty classical pavilion. Far mori 
pleasing is the Birth of Christ, on the south. Thi: 
is really delightful — as well designed and colourec 
as any window in Tuscany. Here there is nothing 
stiff, only a simple picture. The dark blue back- 
ground serves to throw out in strong relief the 
Holy Family and kneeling angels, while the whok 
colour scheme is brightened by the yellow of the 
thatched roof and of Joseph's garment, both on the 
left side. Above all shines the Star of Bethlehem. 
It is a picture to store away in one's memory. 

Come back with us to Florence toward sunset. 
The hills on our left sometimes surge forward 

114 



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taly 

)la. Old 
ibrasures 
;r on the 
i^isitation 
ventional 

for the 
and the 
rhe west 

has too 
3;eniously 
n left to 
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?ar more 
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coloured 

nothing 
ue back- 
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he whole 
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until they are threateningly dose upon us, and 
again they silently withdraw in a strong receding 
sweep, only to lunge forward again. All the while 
the slowly dying sun is languidly shifting its tints 
upon them from gay to grave— heather purple to 
duU blue, to blue-grey, to grey, then sinking 
into twilight, cheered by the twinkle of out-popping 
lights. 



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LUCCA 

PICTURE to yourself a range of mountains 
running north-east and south-west, and 
climbing up their slopes, or perched aloft 
among them, many a picturesque village 
or sturdy stronghold. At the foot of these hills 
stretches off to the south a long plain ; upon this 
plain at a point where other hills so encroach from 
the south as to make of it a valley, lies Lucca. 
Lucca, so often fought for, and conquered, and 
bought, and sold — poor distracted, desirable Lucca! 
Around about it are thrown high grass-grown 
ramparts, now altered fix)m frowning batdcments 
into smiling promenades where, as one takes the 
air, he can gaze upon the city compacted within, 
or else out across the narrowing plain to the hills, 
or down the level valley that leads through them 
to Pisa — 22 kilometres to the south-west. Many 
times up and down that valley road to Pisa havf 
marched and counter-marched bodies of armec 

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Lucca 

men, more frequendy to the discomfort and dismay 
of Lucca than of her stronger neighbour. 

Unfortunate as she generally contrived to be, 
Lucca enjoyed a short period of glory, for out of 
the kaleidoscopic hurly-burly of petty stnfe which 
constantly plagued the peninsula there emerged her 
one great leader, Castruccio Castracane, during the 
fifteen years of whose rule Lucca ruffled it with the 
best of them. These despots of the Italian cities 
were the logical outcome of the prevalent custom of 
hiring professional soldiers to do the fighting while 
the honest burghers confined themselves to safer 
and on the whole more remunerative duties. But 
this trade of the mercenary paid better and better, 
and it is noteworthy that while in the middle of 
the 14th century most of these gentry were from 
beyond the Alps, by the end of that century they 
were nearly all Italian. An interesting manifesUtion 
of fiivouring home industries I Most of these 
successful Condottieri enjoyed great local distinc- 
tion, some became good rulers, few were very 
nice. Their code of law was simple and easily 
learned— "let him take that hath the power, and 
let him hold that can." No picture of Italy in the 
Middle Ages is complete unless you paint in 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

sundry of these ruffians, and that, too, well in th, 
foreground. They constituted a force seldom les; 
powerful than the Church, frequendy more so. 
Many were of engaging personality, although some- 
what vague on morality, and not squeamish i„ 
matters of decency. Looks and personal charm 
entered into it too ; Hewlett sapiently remarks, 
"the Tuscans always suffered handsome tyrants 
gladly." Generally these local over-lords contented 
themselves with maintaining the mastery of one city, 
although raiding others from time to time by way 
of indulging their lust of fighting. They were a 
cold-blooded lot, and cut throats for much the same 
reason that children cut capers— to avoid ennui, 
and to pass the time ! It would seem as if they 
studied the laws of morality and decency so as 
to provide themselves with rules to break— just 
for the sheer joy of what Terence Mulvaney 
called "putting your fUt through ivry livin' 
wan av the Tin Commandmints between Revelly 
and Lights Out." Some were really great men, 
and founded dynasties of long duration like the 
Medici of Florence and the Visconti and the 
Sforzas of Milan. Many were of the type that 
lived by the sword and died by the sword and 

ii8 



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Lucca 
Irfi no ^ behind ,h«,. Suchano„...l„!f„ 
Luca , hop. of l«ting pron,inenc.. „, C«,rucc,o 

?"TL' """ ""■' "^ """ <"^ '^""'y 

(«c.p«i from , pri«,„, „y „„. ,,^ ^^^ ' 

c.d» and over ftrce hundred walled towns, oveZ 
«me the powerfUl Florentine, „o less than three 
..me^ and suiged up to the very wall, of Genoa,- 
"d dl to what purpose? He died in ,,j8, ,11 
Tu^any at hi, me,^, „<, ,h, „^ „^^, ^^^ 

Emperor »Id hi, chief city. Lucca, to the highe,t 
b,dder - But whUe Ctruccio lived he wa, a ™tch 
for the be,, of them. Vil],„i ,ay, he wa, "limber 
„ f' '"^ "^ " «~< «PP=.rance," and Hewlett 
«II« hm, "a bareheaded fighter who never could 
get enough of it, and hero of innumerable legends." 
The great^t triumph of his life, ,he humbling of 
Fio^ce, had its culminating scene in LuL, 
^thedral church of San Martino. whither we are 
bound for a sigh, „f the gWious windows of the 

'o specal ac„v,ty by Castruccio's capture of their 

and mnVfT r '" "^ '''"'" °^ ^''^'^ ^^e Sea 
d - tof the. fnends. An .rmy .u. be .ised, 

"' ^»^> ^-> of the best, for this man must be 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

humbled, and the peril of which he was the 
embodiment avoided. Money was expended freely, 
and mercenaries poured in from allies near and 
fer, many of the knights coming from France and 
Burgundy. A force of 20,000 men, equipped at 
all points and especially strong in cavalry, set 
out under command of Raymond of Cardona, to 
chastise Castruccio and his Lucchesi. With the 
soldiers went the fiimous Martinella, the great bell 
of Florence, which never failed to accompany a 
Florentine army. The campaign was a short one — 
a fortnight sufficed to show Castruccio's superiority 
both in strategy and honest hard fighting. The 
victory was overwhelming, and the spoils of war 
such as never before had Lucca enjoyed. The 
entry into the city of the conquering army took 
place on St. Martin's day, and to the great 
church dedicated to that Saint marched Castruccio 
and his victors. Before them went, to the joy of 
the victors, the famous Martinella, mounted on its 
great car, and dragged by oxen draped with th ■ 
once proud but now humbled lilies of Florence, 
while after it walked the prisoners, headed by 
General Raymond of Cardona, in his hand a lighred 
candle to be placed on the altar of the cathediai. 

120 



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Lucca 

No womier the worthy folk of Luce „e.rlj- w«„t 
"Jd -.d, d.Iight«J prid.. «d cheeml and ch«™l 
until lung, g,ve out, .„d , ,p^h,„, 
fore. «.perven«l. Think on th,, mo« gloriou. day 
otLueo « you ,t«,d befo,, S«, Martino', ornate 
ftt«f.. It w, «ldom that any city .njoy«) such 
a Joul-iatisfying triumph. 

Th. Cathedral of &Unt Martin has it, apse 
enbrdy gUzed in the beat style of th. pot-metal 
«nopy penod. The architecture upon it is of th. 
'^^ .chool. but is a. rich in Z colouring a! 
anr other part of th. picture. Th. cntral en,, 
brasure ,, ^der d,an it. two companion,, but all 

Wht ,s ft, f „,^_ ^^^^^^_ .^ ^^ ^^^.^__^ 

of the hue. and the many d«„«tiv. d.t.ils such a. 
*. ch„ub. holding back th. dr,p,ri«, etc. Th. 
fr«que„t r«l lin« throughout th. groining of th. 

««^.l,ectiveaswella,charac.eri,tic.%nth 
centnU wmdow th. Annunciation scene at th. top 
« a (in. one. The manner in which d,. two fig„r« 
^- .und apart and are slightly turned tow J 

n th Duomo at Florae.. Th. gr..„, h« „ 
l.v.shly and .Ifetivdy us«i, is, how«„, ftr rich„ 






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^^ 1653 East Main Street 

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'■^g (716) *82 - 0300 - Phone 

^^ (716) 288 - 5989 - Fax 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

than any to be observed in Florence, and has much 
to do with the artistic strength of the ensemble. 
Observe these windows carefUIly, for there is no 
richer colouring in Italian glass. 

Across the small square in front of the cathedral 
lies the Baptistery of St. John, and off its northern 
transept is a large chapel containing the ancient 
baptismal font. In the east wall of this chapel is a 
great round window of uncoloured panes within a 
wide, rich border, and in the centre is placed a 
commanding figure of John the Baptist of almost 
life size. The contrast between the flesh tints and 
the red cloak thrown about him is excellent. 
Contrary to the usual Italian custom, it bears a date, 
1572. 

San Paolino has six of its windows glazed in 
exceUent old glass, three in the west front, one at 
the end of each transept, and one in the apse behind 
the altar. This last named shows San Paolino 
against a light tinted architectural background- 
about the only instance in Lucca of a feilure to use 
rich pot-metal glass in depicting stone work. The 
embrasure above contains modern work. The back- 
grounds of all these San Paolino pictures are of 
warm blue. The appearance of brilliant red ribs in 

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Lucca 

the groining of the canopies makes one surmise that 
they were by the same hand as those at the Cathedral. 
The coloured borders are good, but not so strikingly 
rich as the Cathedral ones. An unusually dark 
purple robe strikes one's attention in the central 
window of the west front, as does also strong red 
in the garments of the figures in the lignts on each 
side ; the palm branches in their hands indicate that 
we are looking at martyrs. 

A visit to Lucca leaves us with the vivid 
impression of warm pot-metal colour combined 
most effectively into a fine series of glass pictures. 
The writer is not surprised that it became rather a 
habit during the Middle Ages to capture Lucca. 
He would very much like to have been present on 
one of those occasions if only to have participated in 
the loot to the extent of the three large windows of 
the Cathedral ! In those days the transporting from 
place to place of .tained glass windows was not at 
aU unusual. The chapel of a certain English 
country residence caUed The Vyne, near Basing- 
stoke, is adorned with splendid French glass, Lord 
Sandys' share of the booty (so runs the legend) when 
the English took Boulogne, and brought home by 
him thereafter to gladden his eyes in his beautiful 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

Hampshire home. His example is one which 
deserves to be followed I It would have been 
singularly satisfiuAory to have in like manner, 
" personally conducted " the removal of these three 
masterpieces from Lucca. 



124 



PISA 



UPON the plain near where the Arno 
finishes its long and winding journey 
to the sea, sits Pisa, encircled by the 
old machicolated walls, so long her 
boast, and traversed by the now slow-moving river, 
no longer needing the restraint of weirs as at 
Florence, and sedately forgetful of its youthful 
splashings adown the hilly valleys below Arezzo. 
The heart of Pisa is the open space where are 
stationed her four splendid trophies of ancient 
magnificence, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the 
Leaning Tower, and the Campo Santo. Other 
cities may and can rival any one of these four 
^ories, but such a wondrous group is certainly 
nowhere else to be seen, each by its position 
respecting the dignity of its neighbours as nobly 
as it safeguards its own beauty. Whether seen at 
hot noonday, or in the weird moonlight— no matter 
the hour or the season— these four lovely sisters of 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

me iiacval architecture seize a place in one's memory 
from which nothing to be elsewhere seen can dis- 
place them. Here the builders have foresworn the 
temptations of coloured marbles, and have re- 
mained constant to white — some black indeed to 
afford the needed contrast, but stately white marble 
is the dominant note of the picture that one carries 
away from Pisa. White marble on a carpet of 
green grass — a carpet so often spread for architect 
ture in England, but almost never seen in Italy. 
In one respect Pisa joins the group of cities headed 
by Bourges, in that the blossoming power of the 
whole town seems to have been concentrated at one 
point. There is little of interest to be seen in 
the city besides its marvellous group about the 
Cathedral. But was there c er more variety shown 
by four structures : — the low Campo Santo, the 
sturdy, solemn dome of the Baptistery, the splen- 
didly adorned Cathedral, and lastly, the daring 
slant of the gallery-on-galleried Leaning Tower, 
seemingly defying those sedate rules of architec- 
tural poise which have made its more serious neigh- 
bours so charming. 

Nowadays Pisa is not a place in which one 
lingers long, and it is somewhr^t of a surprise to 

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Pisa 

learn that Shelley said, "ou- roots never struck so 
deeply as at Pisa." It is difficult to realize rhe 
former maritime importance of this quiet little 
city m 7 removed seven miles from the Medi- 
terranean by the gradual rising of the coast, inst-ad 
of lying as formerly only twc miles from the 
harbour of Porto Pisano, which sent forth victorious 
fleets from the time of the 2nd Punic war until 
Pisa's decline in the 14th century. This once 
famous harbour has been so completely obliterated 
by silt and sand that its exact site is no longer 
known. Another erasure which time has here 
effected is that of the forest of towers that must 
once have made the city such a striking spectacle, 
and which is so quaintly depicted on ancient coins 
and medals. Of course it waS not unusual for an 
early Italian town to contain many towers, for thus 
were constructed the houses of the nobles. To- 
day this architectural custom is best exempliried at 
San Gemignano, but nowhere could there be found 
a to»al that in any way approached the 16,000 
towers with which the ancient chronrles credited 
Pisa. No wonder one of them describes her appear- 
ance as that of a sheaf of wheat, bound together by 
the g-dlc of walh ! That they were lofty may be 

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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

deduced from the municipal regulation limiting 
their height to ninety-five feet. Their bristling 
array, soaring aloft above the meaner edifices, must 
have made the streets of Pisa seem much as do 
to-day the down-town thoroughfares of New York 
City, running like caflons between the thirty- and 
forty-story « skyscrapers " on either side. 

For those who are interested in the study of 
columns, there is here collected a rich store for their 
delectation. The conquering Pisan, whether his 
victories were won in Spain or Africa or the Holy 
Land or the Islands of the Mediterranean, never 
failed to bring home sundry columns as part of his 
booty. There are over 450 of them, of every 
clime, colour, and shape, in the Duomo alone, 
while many more are scattered through the other 
churches, and the better sort of houses. As show- 
ing the esterm in which columns were held by the 
citizer t, it i. mteresting to relate that a pair made of 
red porphyr)' were presented by them to Florence 
for protecting the women, children, and old men, 
the only population left in Pisa when she undertook 
a crusade to drive the Moslems out of Sardinia. 
The Florentines camped two miles outside the city, 
over against the threatening Luccans, and so jealous 

128 



Pisa 



were they of the security of the defenceless Pisan 
wor.en, that no Florentine soldier was allowed to 
e' icr the gates under pain of death, it \vas only 
once necessary to enforr- this penalty I This very 
pair of columns may to-day be seen fastened to 
either side of the doorway of the Baptistery at 
Florence, mute rei ..nders of both civic honour and 
civic gratitude. 

There have been a long series of conquerors of 
the M*- :erranean, and the more one studies them, 
the more similar do they become. But of the 
Pisan maritime supremacy durinj, the nth and 
nth centuries there is one outstanding feature that 
elevates it above the others, viz. : the insistance by 
the Pisans that they set up their own law courts 
wherever they gained a foothold. Sometimes they 
obtained this right by diplomacy, in the case of 
their courts in the Moslem citi. of Cairo and 
Alexandria. Sometimes they gained it by gallant 
fighting, as witness the many grants of this privi- 
lege won by them in the Holy Land while battling 
for the Cross. Their splendid valour during the 
Crusades cannot be gainsaid, even if one doubts 
their boast that a Pisan was first over the walls at the 
taking of Jerusalem. In view of their traditional 

129 K 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

respect for law and the dignity of the court 

it is not surprising that when in 1135 they toe 

Amalfi their most cherished trophy and the one t 

which the citizens paid the greatest honours, m 

a copy of the Pandects of Justinian ! The juris 

of Pisa codified the maritime laws on more than or 

occasion ; the one effected in 1075 was approve 

by both Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry I\ 

Of their « Consolato del Mare " or written code c 

maritime law, Hallam says, "it has definec' th 

mutual rights of neutral and belligerent vessels, an, 

thus laid the basis of the positive law of nation 

in its most important and disputed cases." It i 

obvious that in the midst of such a people then 

must have existed a sound school of law, and so i 

was and so it is, for the University of Pisa and it! 

law school is still, after many centuries of honourec 

and useful existence, recognized as among the besl 

in Italy. A creditable figure was the sturdy Pisar 

of the city's Golden Age, carrying his sword and hi; 

law court to every shore of the Mediterranean 

Sea, then the equivalent of the Seven Seas oi 

to-day. 

But it is time for us pilgrims to remember 
the purpose of our visit, so let us make our 

130 







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111 






Pisa 

way to the Cathedral. There i, but little of the 
old glass left in the unique series of grouped 
lancets that pierce the west front, a grouping 
seen nowhere else-four together, then, as the 
cjrc descends, three together, two, then single 
lancets. Along the lower side of the nave aisles 
there is a treat awaiting us, fourteen rectangular 
windows, seven on each side, all but three filled 
with one scene above and another below, no 
attempt at canopies-nothing but the telling of 
stones, always so engrossing to every age. Here 
IS delightfully preserved the traditions of the rich 
warm pot-metal colour which so endears Italian 
glass to the student. Deeply toned windows of 
many hues, little paint, and as many figures as you 
like, regardless of the additional labour required 
to lead them in. Colour and story, esthetic sense 
and love of tale-teUing, aU are gratified. In these 
windows there seems to have been perpetuated 
the story-telling genius which in other countries 
stopped abruptly at the close of the mosaic medal- 
ions. Elsewhere than in Italy the glazier of 
the Hth and ,5th centuries turned his attention 
to figures in canopy, but at Pisa, fortunately for 
us, he refused to be bound down by the prim 

131 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

conventionalities of the canopy, and he also con- 
tinued to delight us with the rich hues of pot- 
metal glass instead of the thinner colours used 
by his contemporaries of the north. As we look 
upon this entertaining array of Biblical s'>:ories we 
are not surprised to learn that Pisan glaziers were 
summoned to work at Florence and elsewhere. 
Not only did ^the Florentines envy the maritime 
glory of the Pisans, but they also appreciated, 
and were glad to employ the artistic ability which 
the early Pisan successes caused to spring up and 
flourish in that city near the sea. 



i 




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132 



SIENA 



HOW strange it would seem if one were 
to read that it had been decided to 
hold horse races in Grarnercy Park, 
New York, or in the Palace des Vosges, 
Paris, or in Trafalgar Square, London. « Impos- 
sible 1 " you would exclaim—" there isn't room 
enough, the track would be too small I " And yet 
that is just what happens on the second of July and 
the sixteenth day of August of each year, in the 
small cup-like open space lying before the Palazzo 
Pubblico in Siena. Yes indeed, and thrilling 
races too, the jockeys cracking their whips, the 
horses galloping madly around the small track, 
and every inch of available space below or in the 
windows, or on the housetops packed — literally 
packed with a shouting, delirious multitude of 
onlookers I It may not be a fair t-^st of the 
horses' speed, but it certainly is of horsemanship, 
and furthermore it vastly pleases all concerned, so 

133 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

what more can one ask? Lasdy, and also o 
great importance, it preserves an ancient custom 
and that is worth much in these iconoclastic times 
Therefore, oh 1 Siena, long live the annual rejoicing 
which the running of the Palio brings to youi 
ancient municipality ! 

What a city of differing beauties have W( 
here ! Of scenic beauty, if one looks down upor 
the rolling valleys below from the top of th« 
Palazzo Pubblico, or back upon the charming city 
from the rampart promenades of the Lissa fortress, 
Of theatrical beauty, if one peeps down some 
narrow street upon the semi-circular Piazza del 
Campo, backed by the Palazzo Pubblico while 
far aloft shoots the Mangia, one of the world's 
most graceful towers. Especially is this beauty 
theatrical, if seen in the glamour lent by moon- 
light, although delightful enough without that 
added charm. And when we wander up the 
narrow, winding streets and come out upon the 
space about the cathedral itself, do we not find 
yet another, ai I a very special beauty .?— that of 
judicious elaboration of detail in decoration. No 
church in Christendom can boast of such pains- 
taking treatment of every square foot of surface 

134 










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Siena 

within, or on its western facade without. Different 
indeed are the varied beauties of this ancient 
city, but aU unite to exert their special fascina- 
tions upon the stranger. In this s:me spirit 
of contrast Siena differs from her sister hilUitics 
—not so sweepingly lofty as Perugia, nor so 
steeply remote as Orvieto. She seems desirous 
to mask her elevation, for the ascent is at most 
points gradual, and there is a decided uplift in 
the country round about. Tl.en, too, the rail- 
road succeeds in mounting to Siena, although it 
has to employ a switchUck to do so, but it does 
not even attempt that feat at Cortona, or Orvieto, 
or Perugia, or Assisi. If, to enjoy the view, you 
have mounted to the top of the Palazzo Pub- 
blico, do not ful to visit its sumptuous halls, 
frescoed by Sodoma, Simone Martini, Lorenzetti, 
and many another master of the Sienese school! 
But the great blossom of tJic city's architectural 
wealth must be sought at the cathedral. Most 
of the open space about it proves, on inspection, 
to have been intended for the interior of the huge 
edifice originaUy projected. Around half the open 
square we still see the inside walls of the first- 
planned structure, their courses of white and 

»35 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

black marble harmonizing with the exterior o 
the completed church. Fortunately, this over 
ambitious plan was never carried into eflfect, fc, 
the church as we see it to-day, although smallei 
in size, has obviously benefited by the concentra 
tion of ornament. The west front is a riot ol 
coloured marbles and Gothic sculpture, while ai 
the eastern end the slope of ground permitted 
the construction of an under-church, used as a 
Baptistery, itself boasting of a graceful ^ade. 

It is doubtful if there is anjrwhere another 
church possessing such a bewildering array of 
different sorts of decoration as that which bur«ts 
upon us when we enter the interior. Wherever 
we look something has been sculptured or painted 
or built — the forest of black and white columns 
with their finely chiselled capitals, the delicately 
sculptured tombs, the rich frescoes of Pinturicchio, 
the army of little figures upon the imposing marble 
pulpit, the choir stalls gleaming in the sombre 
beauty of their old wood, the pavement intricately 
pictured in black and white marbles, while from 
the cornice far above looks down a long row of 
benignant papal countenances. So on we go 
through many a quaint and alluring detail, until 

136 



Siena 

we reach our gbss, displayed in two circular em- 
brasures, both of noble proportions, one at the 
western end, r ' the other at the eastern. The 
latter is the earlier, and is of the mosaic period. 
None of its contemporaries can boast of such careful 
and weU-balanced treatment as is shown in the nine 
compartments into which its surface is subdivided 
by the stout iron saddle bars, so-called because o* 
the duty they discharge in supporting so great a 
weight of gk.3 and lead. Certain deUils (such 
as the wavy outline of thi medaUions enclosing 
four of the figures) are so reminiscent of some 
at Orvieto and in the lower church at Assisi, 
that one is inclined to call the window a contem* 
porary of those others : this would place it just 
after the middle of the 14th century. We know 
from the records that Bonino and Angioletto di 
Gubbio worked upon the windows at all three of 
these places, which tends to confirm the datine 
selected. ^ 

The general effect of the eastern occhio is the 
usual clear blue of its period, but warmed up bv 
judicious use of many colours. Note the unusual 
treatment of the gay borders, each of the nine sub- 
divisions being different, and yet harmonizing so 

137 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

completely that these differences are not at first 
observed. The three large panels running down 
the middle contain sceiies, each made up of a 
number of figures. Below is the death of the 
Virgin, in the centre her ascension, and above is 
her coronation. Notice the lilac used for the death 
bed in the lowest picture, and also the grouping. 
In the central panel there is a fine toss to the 
angels' wings, and in them an adroit combination 
of lilac, red, and other contrasting tints In the 
coronation scene, the broad golden bench serves 
to centralize one's attention upon the two person- 
ages seated thereon, while about it are grouped 
angels of vrrious hues. Some of the halos arc red 
and some yellow, as is also the case in the lowest 
scene— this shows the work to be early. Very 
skilful is the handling of the nearly triangular spaces 
at what may be called the four corners of the 
window. An Evangelist is seated in the taller 
portion ot each, while the rapidly decreasing re- 
mainder of each space is deftly fitt-sd with his 
appropriate symbol — the lion for St. Mark, etc. 
On both sides of the central panel are two saints, 
each within a medallion, whose wavy border recalls 
those at Assisi and Orvieto. No more interesting 

138 




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« more b«utifi.l chef-d'aavre of tte Ittfe mosaic 
type exists. 

Altogether different is the fine occhio at the 
western end designed in 1549 by Raphael's scholar, 
Penno de Vaga. It was executed by Pastonno 
the versatile pupil of William de MarcUlat, whose 
skiU m gazing was equalled by his remarkable 
medals and coins, as weU as his coloured portraits 
in wax and stucco. Unfortunately, Pastorino's pro- 
bity was not so well developed as his artistic nature 
for we read that having been paid for the window,' 
he tned to decamp without finishing it, causing the 
citizens the painfb! necessity of locking him up in 
order to ensure the continuance of his residence 
among them and the completion of his task. In 
this window we see the fiill-blown Renaissance with 
Its classical colonnades, garlands, cherubs, etc all 
complete. It depicts the Last Supper, but in 
perhaps too conventional and ornate a fashion. 
There is certainly too much architectural back- 
ground, notwithstanding an attempt to relieve it 
by abundant strands of flowers, festoons of bright 
nbbons, and gay cherubs disporting themselves in 
most unexpected places. The border is noteworthy 
for Its simphcity-merely a plain moulding run 

139 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

around inside the embrasure. The window is u 
deniably fine, but it suffers by comparison with 
older sister at the other end of the chvirch. 

Before going out, let us pass from the left si 
of the nave into the famous Piccolomini Librai 
which is entirely fi-escoed by Pinturicchio in I 
most brilliant manner — a memorial erected by Po 
Pius III to his kinsman, Pius II. Its twr t 
windows are each surcharged with a large blasi 
of the ^mily, their golden cref!'*'ints on a bl 
cross being surrounded by an a ^^le green wrea 
reminiscent of those which hang in our windo 
at Christmas time. These wreaths are frequent 
used in Italy to frame coats of arms. 

The small church of Fontegiusta has a spec 
claim upon the attention of the American travelli 
for over its entrance are suspended some weapo 
presented by Christopher Columbus, together wi 
the large bone of a whale, the latter perhaps assis 
ing the arms to testify to his having conquered ti 
Atlantic as well as its western shore. Betwei 
these interesting trophies is a small round windo 
of good glazing and noticeably fine drawin 
Standing upon a red and gold pavement are tl 
Virgin and Child between St. Catherine of Siei 

140 



Siena 

and St. Dominic. A railing done in the Classical 
manner gracefully divides the background, and 
assists the rich blue above it to throw out the 
figures in bold relief. 

Siena, perched on her three connecting hills, 
is not an easy city to leave, for in addition to her 
many picturesque attractions there are few places in 
Italy where one can so easily make a comparative 
study of the entire course of medieval art. 

Eighty-five kilometres south of Siena lies 
Grosseto, near the sea, and in its principal church 
is an interesting 15th century window. This is a 
long trip to make for one window, and it is only 
mentioned in case the traveller is purposing to tarry 
so long in Siena that he will have plenty of time 
at his disposal to visit all the points of interest in 
the neighboiirhood. 



141 






BOLOGNA 



(C, 



THOSE two agreeable adjectives, 
feshioned" and "mysterious," ; 
somehow pleasantly blended when o 
thinks of an arcaded street. To th( 
picturesque charms there should be added t 
practical recommendation of protection from be 
sun and rain. Thus to combine beauty and utili 
must satisfy even the most exacting Ruskin of 
all. And to enjoy this combination we must reps 
to Bologna, which, more than any other city in t 
world, is the "Arcady of Arcades." Nor are h 
arcades in any way monotonous, for each hous 
holder has pleased his own fancy in constructii 
that portion of the covered sidewalk running belo 
his dwelling, and so you wander, semi-subterr 
neously, through all parts of the city, careless aliJ 
of rain or sunstroke, happy in the protection ar 
quaint beauty of these sheltered ways. Just ho 
Bologna strikes the passing aeroplanist it is still to 
early to enquire. All he can see is the driveway ( 

142 



Bologna 

the streets, and his first passage over the city must 
give h.m the impression that its citizens are all too 
opulent or too haughty to travel on foot, since he 
»ees only vehicles or cavaliers. But the time is at 
hand to adjust our point of view so as to include 
that of the voyager by aeroplanes, and Baedeker 
must soon add birdVeye views to his treasury of 
•mpressions at second hand. Perhaps we shall soon 
read m his pages, "Thanks to the arcaded streets of 
Bologna which obscure foot passengers from the view 
of passmg aeroplanes, the city is readily recognized 
by traveUers in those vehicles. Care should be taken 
to avoid striking any of the towers of this town, 
two of wh,ch are leaning ones, and are veiy useful 
as a landmark for those planing down from a 
distance. Bologna peculiarly deserves this refe- 
rence to the newest manifestation of applied science, 
for m that field she has always been most pro- 
8^«ve. It was here that Marconi, a gifted 'son 
of her anaent umversity, made the first practical 

emonst^t^on of that crowning wonder 'of :; 

T.. 7"^' "'"'"^ ^^^^-^"P^^- This feat re- 
vives the memory of a similar one by Galvani 

^;:^^^^---^ ^vanism in ,,8^. u2 
- her umve«,ty that took place that dramatic 

M3 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

scene, the first scientific dissection of the huma 
body. 

To reach Bologna the traveller from Florcni 
has spent several hours in climbing and tunnellir 
the mountain wall by which the Apennines shut c 
Tuscany from the fertile flatness of Lombard 
The very monotony of the plain on which the ci 
stands makes one all the more receptive of tl 
many picturesque attractions within it. 

The stained glass of Bologna proves entire 
adequate to the promise of interest which the aspe 
of the city holds out to the arriving pilgrim. Tl 
standard is a high one, for in addition to the lab 
rinth of arcades, and the leaning towers swayii 
across each other, there are the high-perch 
column-borne tombs at the street corners, the the? 
ricaUy impressive public square set about with grc 
buildings from the storied past, etc. San Petroni 
the largest ecclesiastical edifice in the city, is t 
richest in stained glass, but many of its winda 
were destroyed, and that too in an unusual fashic 
It was here that Charles V was crowned Emper 
by Pope Clement VII, and during the public rejo 
ings which followed this momentous event, t 
discharge of artillery salutes played havoc with t 

144 



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Bologna 

of .p«.d privilege » „„„, g J .„_, .f^; 

The chu^h „ i, ,„„d, ^ ,, « 8^-«- 

onginj and ovtr-ambitious d«iM a„/ 

one long „,ve g,„u^ y, , *"' '"'' """«» of 

opportunity for comparative study of differ. I 

periods and methods of glazing all h ' 

to the same sized .mh ^* °'^''''^' ^"<=d 

wmc sized embrasures, but ranaJn^ <l 

•he stronger p,e.„«„ colouring .oT h^"" 
«»mplc of peeled .„.„.!. T^*.;L t "1 

by St. James of Ulm TK. u , '^""^ 

«intly had been hi, life LZI °^ '^' "^ » 

--..o^eaa/t^rrr:: 

'45 



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A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

canonized. The fetUval of this saint fell upon 
second Sunday of October, and was for many j 
religiously observed by the company of glassma 
in Paris. His charming window, made about i 
shows a Helightl\il Italian adaption of the nort 
canopy type. It reveals careful attention to d( 
while his years spent in Italy show themselve 
the richness of every part of the shrines. 1 
how the intricate Gothic pinnacles that top 
small structures are thrown out against the ( 
blue. One is at a loss whether to bestow gre 
admiration upon the glowing mosaic borders, or 
use of such soft tints as mulberry or sage gr 
It is doubtful if the northern style can show a I 
canopy window, and yet you have only to cross 
nave to the fourth chapel from the west to see 
incomparably richer is the Renaissance architec 
of the Italian, Cossa, lavish in his use of pot-n 
blues, greens, and purples. His simulated si 
work is as deep in warm colour as his figures. ' 
fifth chapel on the lefi side was glazed by Lore 
Costa, but unfortunately he painted the glass 
much, unwilling seemingly to rely upon the cole 
ing introduced during its manufacture. It aff< 
a striking argument against painting the surf 

146 



Bologi 



jna 

His yellow inclines to brownish «« 

on the right boMt, no les. a H ^''* *«''**' '^^"P^' 

-^ied upon enamelled cow TH^; '"*":'" 
disastrously for m «« l ^" ''""^ted 

"^ lav. hwdsoroe bold t«cerv IWh, T 
"hwe central featur. ;. i ^ *^" »'»'«. 

"»m ««y .o «1«, Not. Thl ' , °: """ "■"■' 
•h«ch,pd„f,h.p2" . . *""' *"^' """" '■> 

y«o„,|,engl,t,ideof,hea,u,xh„f 
'47 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

the MtMricordi«. These lut named htve been 
locally accredited to St. James of Ulm (in the tame 
generous manner in which good German glass is 
firequently usigned to Albrecht Diirer), but none of 
our comiwny will hesitate to render unto Francia 
the things that are Francia's. His slender borders 
are carefully drawn, particularly th; one in San 
Martino where the pine cones of the Poltroni arms 
are repeated, but without too much accent upon 
them. Francia seems to have preferred to paint his 
figures in low blue and white, with stronger blue 
and some green in the background. 

A famous bull's eye of the larger type is to be 
seen in the west fi^nt of San Giovanni in Monte. 
It is by Cossa, thi irtist who glazed the fourth 
chapel on the left in San Petronio. The seven 
lamps of St. John's vision are seen ranged across 
the sky, while the Saint himself (in yellow, red, 
and green) is seated in a brown mountunous land- 
scape, scattered over which are small green trees, 
and here and there a tiny village of bright red. 
The gay border of typical Italian arabesques 
contains so much of the same blue as that used 
in the picture as to make the ensemble a very blue 
one. It is as interesting as you can well imagine, 

148 




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Bologna 
bu. u„d.„i,W, coar^r in d«,g„ and colou. U,.„ 
we Hve a right to expect of its period. 

■r,TZ "*■ f" "■"V"™" ''e'-" of this ancient 
--.« a hddle of seven churches of diffe^n. 

of..mefromth.4th,o.he.7thcentu,y. We shall 
be ch.efl, .nterested in «,» one dedicated to St 

Pe^ and St Paul, for there in the east wall, „ 
weD as over the apse, are slender lancets filled ^ith 
^.slucentpinkalabast.. What a long road it is 

fi^nth^slend. lights to the triumphs of Cossa 
and St. James in San Petronio I 



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149 






VENICE 



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EVERYONE of us possesses a privat 
picture gallery called « Memory." Som 
' of its rooms are kept swept and garnished 
and are often entered to enjoy ane\ 
scenes long ago visited. In others of the room 
the pictures are sadly faded ; perhaps there ar 
certain doors of which the keys have bee 
lost ! Whoever has seen Venice will agree thj 
its place in the memory gallery is a bright an 
glowing corner, and one to which we frequent] 
resort. The glories of this amphibious queen < 
the Adriatic have been so often painted, sung, an 
written, and from so many angles and points ( 
view, that whoever, at this late day, ventures i 
write of her should be called upon in advance i 
justify his temerity. As a guarantee, therefore, i 
our good fiiith, let us promptly plead our excus 
which shall be, that for stained glass enthusias 
Venice is of distinct interest because she was tl 
factory from whence came most of the materi 

150 



Venice 

i !r,."'t "'"''°"' "'""«'""« "">■• Furthermore, 

tin t,^'"T °' *" ""' ■"" "'«'' » %-"■ 
2= «". « " bu. proper .ha. we visit the ci,, which 

««. the poreal through which that art entered the 

P=n.n.uU The mor«U of glass which compose 

fce wealth of mosaic of which Venice righdy bLs 

!»« for centuries been manuftctured on ti,e islands 

of the lagoon. It was from Byzantium that Venice 

learned th.s art, and it is both to the designers of 

mo^,c, and the Venetian glass blowers that Italian 

wmdows owed ti,eir beginnings and their early 

■mpetus. Such is our excuse for asking you to 

-., or re-visit, Venice; an excu. is Ldy all 

«.« you require, for no a.^„e„t has ever been 

necessa.7 to turn a pilgrim's footsteps towards the 

- of gondolas." the echoes of whose music 

o"ur:ar?'uT.'^""'°'"'«'""'"8"»'<'»g- 
our ear Is V.„,ce more glorious in the glow of 

hesays? *"'"'''«" »gree, no matter what 

of ancent argosies richly laden from the Levant 
Pushmg in from the Adriatic and dmnn T 

off that r,^ . ' ""ropprng anchor 

Off that rosy masterpiece of architecture known as 

■51 



i 



l\ 



/^ 



.11! 



IV * 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

the Doge's Palace. Nor is it difficult to pictur 
to oneself the sumptuously adorned barges of th 
Republic sweeping out to sea to solemnize th 
wedding of the Doge with the Adriatic, thu 
officially symbolizing to all the world Venice' 
proud assumption of controlling the gateway t 
the opulent East. But it will not be easy for th 
reader to believe that this same Venice was one 
filled with the filthy smoke of glass furnaces, an 
yet this will be as true a picture as the others, fc 
toward the end of the 13th century the success c 
the Venetian glass blowers was such that thei 
furnaces abounded in every quarter of the city. S 
numerous did they become that the city father 
decided that they were injurious to the publi 
health, and banished them beyond the limits ( 
the municipality. They sought refuge on th 
Island of Murano and certain others near by, s 
that Venice abated the smoke nuisance withoi 
losing control of this profitable trade. Viewe 
from a purely modern standpoint this action c 
the Great Council seems difficult to understanc 
Suppose, for example, it were to-day suggeste 
that all cigar makers be banished from Havam 
or all steel plants from Pittsburgh, or all ^ctorie 

152 



Venice 
fe.m Birmingham, such seep,. how=v.r bencSdJ 
to the pubhc h«U,h of «,„„ citi« would, „e fear 
prove ve^r di«u>trou, ,o die pr^u health of their 
.d«».te,. One i, moved to wonder whether any 

forthepubhc hedth. Ma,, it not have been that 
cer^n of .he cit,ftthe„ received warning, eith 

F,«T IT" " °*'™'''' °' Birminghams and 
P.«sburgh, yet unborn I We have j„,t observed 
that car. was «ken that in banishing the furnaces 
«l.c pockets of Ac citizens should not lose tie 
P^«.s of their smok, chimneys. Nor „:%!■ 

:H::iT:::..rra::^^ir"''^'^" 

^;«. .1. ■ . ™"""enzed thf. action of the 

c ty authonfe^ From ,ha records of Assh^^ 
Florence Arazzo, and elsewhere, we learn thai « 

"Imt^ T* •*"' "■' ''"'•^" S>«i- were 

Zrcf'th ' "" " '^'"' "■' -«°™ for 

gro-IM of them to travel .-rom place to olace i„H 

-mble their glass into windows'after; tig: 
of "oc^l arfsts. The. bands of artisans so !„ 

r t^m L *= ^"""" ^o""^' -"''-" 
•hem to ob..„ permission to undertake Jtracts! 

■53 






A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

but even, as in one instance at Assisi, forbidd 
more work than that for which loo lire would b 
proper compensation. In order to guard the c 
against the loss of its profitable monopoly th 
itinerant workmen were prohibited from setti 
up glass furnaces in any other city. The mi 
one reads the history of Venice and learns si 
details as these, the easier is it to understand i 
commercial importance which its merchants ; 
quired. So far from fearing monopolies, ev( 
nerve was then being strained to build them 
and hold them ^st. 

We may as well promptly admit that there 
but little stained glass now to be seen in Veni( 
Indeed, there remains none of importance exc( 
what was once the splendid window at the Chui 
of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, which unfortunately m 
allowed to fall into bad condition. It consists 
one large subject spread across four lights, 
treatment unusual in Italy. It is interesting 
observe the manner in which the artist worked i 
his blues, passing from pale tints in the water i 
a deeper tone in the sky, and deeper yet in tl 
hills. The drawing of the subject is more ui 
restrained than one would expect from its dat 

154 



[taly 

forbidding 
ould be a 
i the city 
x>ly these 
m setting 
rhe more 
arns such 
stand the 
hants ac- 
ies, every 
them up 

t there is 
n Venice. 
ice except 
le Church 
lately was 
insists of 
lights, a 
esting to 
orked up 
water to 
et in the 
nore un- 
its date, 




. , V"'*'^'" ">■ TORCEI.I.O CATHKriRM 



t I 

I 



I 



M 



'ZUHHr 


v^Hi 




^V'^' 





Venice 

which is 1473. By way of eking out this one 
window we would recommend a visit to TorceUo, 
an island in the lagoon. Its cathedral contains 
some early embrasures fiUed with slabs of trans- 
'ucfnt alabaster. No one realizes more than the 
writer how difficult it is when one has reached 
Venice and surrendered tc its charm, to leave it 
even for so short a trip as that to the neighbouring 
islands of Torcello and Murano. It should be 
attempted, however, for, although they are not so 
magnificent as their sumptuous sister, they have 
the merit of preserving their ancient appearance 
almost intact The archives in many Italian 
churches teM of agents being sent to fetch Murano 
glass for their glaziers. Several eariy references 
are made in the Assisi records to such purchases, 
nor was this trade confined to any one epoch, for it 
per-sted for many centuries. Even as late as 1525, 
William, de MarciUat sent his pupil, Maso Porro,' 
to buy Murano glass for use in the great windows 
at Arezzo. 

Although the primary purpose of our tour is 
the study of glass, it can in no wise be considered 
an infidelity to that purpose if we recommend that 
the mosaics at Venice be carefUUy observed. They 

»55 






II 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

were designed by men who provided the drawi 
for the early windows, and it is because of ti 
that the first period is named for their mo 
medallions. Therefore the inspection of 
Venetian mosaics will be of distinct service 
enabling us to come to an understanding j 
appreciation of the designs of the early glass 
Assisi, Orvieto, and Siena. 



U-iY* 



156 



MILAN 

ONCE upon a time „.„ , ,„j, ,„„„ 
lymg soueh of Bologn, , „^^y 
Pf^"' '^ interrupt hi, daily a>k 

. »'^ '"™''»8 »<»d in Ihc forest to regale 
l..m«If „,h a »gh. of one of the n,a„y troops^^f 

""""""" '" "" "■" overrunning Ly 
B«ve y ..re .hey armed, and exceUendy „„„ J 
^whether their pay „a, peaeefi.«y dLn fro^ 
.own, employing rt,i, „„i ^ ^-^ 

wrenched fton, the treasu^ of captured citi.. 

"".e ,t d,d and in abundance. No wonder h: 
^y wa, .ntere,.ed, for the cur„nt tale, of he 
adventures of these condottieri we« enough o 
aptivate boyish finer I. i. , ^ 

S J u- '^' ""'PPened that thev 

nofced .h,s strongly bnlt Ud leanine uoon V 

- Recruit, of hi, phy,i,ue were .ly ':;^r 

mwed h.ra to jom the troop. Hi, u„u,uai repl. 
!.« comedown in histoty,-.., „„, ^„, '^ 
.nu> ti.e branche, of .hat oak and if i. ,.ays ^«,": 

"57 



.1 
1 



I 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

I will go with you." The axe sUyed where it y 

flung, and there joined them the boy afterwar 

fiimous as the founder of the House of Sfor; 

a family that for over three hundred years govern 

the duchy of Milan, and exercised potent influer 

beyond the boundary of the fertile plains of Lo 

bardy. He was both a thrifty and an industric 

soul, was this same Francesco. Some time af 

the death of our friend Castruccio Castracanc (w 

whom we marched into the cathedral at Luce 

Francesco went that way on a business trip, polit 

termed a military campaign. So business-like t 

he that after he had been paid by Paolo Guin 

ruler of Lucca, for driving off the besieg 

Florentines, he accepted 50,000 ducats from 

said Florentines to take himself promptly out 

Tusci.ny, which he did, but not before pocket 

another 12,000 ducats from the Luccans for driv 

out the same Guinigi on whose business France 

had originally left home. Once, when Galea 

wanted to make a formal entry into Milan 01 

Saturday, Francesco wrote him to change his j 

" for on that day the ladies will be washing tl 

hair, and the troops have their work to d 

Pleasure was never allowed to interfere v 

158 



taly 



•re It was 
ifterwards 
)f Sforza, 
governed 
influence 
of Lom- 
ndustrious 
time after 
cane (with 
It Lucca), 
p, politely 
9>lilce was 

Guinigi, 
besieging 
from the 

tly out of 
pocketing 
For driving 
F'rancesco 
\ Galeazzo 
4ilan on a 
re his plan 
shing their 

1 to do." 
rfere with 






Milan 

Hu.ineM. when Francesco had hi, say. The history 
of the city's growth in strength and imporUnce. 
a» well a. that of the building of its principal 
monuments is wrapped up in the history of the 
Sforzas. Of all the fiin,ilies of despots which, 
dunngthe Middle Ages, governed the cities of 
I^y. the Sforzas of Milan and the Medici-, of 
Florence stand out pre-eminent not only for their 
strong rule but also for the benefits which resulted 
therefrom to their people. 

Foreigners generally remember Milan as the 
city which lies about the cathedral of Milan » The 
hroad, busy thoroughferes of this modernized 
metropohs. the fine large shops, and the omni- 
present t.am-cars all combine to obscure from u, 
.ts stoned past. Its commercial importance is but 
natural, stationed as it is. ««the middle city" rfor 
that .s the story of its name) between the lands 
north of the mountains and the oft-embattled cities 
of the Italian peninsula to the south. Its bustlin. 
successful present contrives to crowd out memori:: 
of the time when Emperor Constantine selected it 
as the capital of the western half of his Empire. 
But what If all this modernity does so thrust Llf 
forward as to push the ancient city into an obscure 

159 



i, 



^ 

If 

a' 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

background !— that same submerged antiquity ha 

its revenge in so stamping our memory with th 

image of the vast cathedral as to eflface all othe 

local impressions. And what a cathedral !— th 

like of it exists nowhere else. Here stands froze 

into stone the centuries-long struggle between th 

builders who wished it to speak in northern Gothii 

and they who fevoured the Latin basilica— a hug 

structure that displays both the much-desired heigl 

of the north, and the roomy breadth of the souther 

architect. Nor is the contrast between these tM 

characteristics any more marked than that betwec 

the spacious reddish brown interior and the exterii 

of glittering white, with its upward discharge 

volley on volley of sculptured pinnacles. Whir 

sically appropriate to this thought is it that ti 

army of two thousand carved figures was add 

during the Napoleonic era. Many as are t 

criticisms that may be directed at this adaptati( 

by southerners of northern Gothic, it is impossib 

to deny that the result is impressive. Effective 

always is — brilliant in its glitter under the noond 

sun, or ghostly in the mysterious pallor it assuir 

as the twilight is closing into night. Moonlig 

puts life into the myriad figures that people 

i6o 




triu..r,V.. i, , learly Z" S. '^ ','^T''' ^^ ''"" ''' ""■ "■^■"^f"! line, .,f ,|„,-,. v , , 









I 



i^^^^^^^^Fi 



O' 






Milan 

roof and changes it to a fairyland of silent folk 
mutely recaUing the past so completely stifled 
dunng the d^ by the modern city on every side. 

We have spoken of the reddish brown tone of 
the mterior, and of this effect let us remark that 
It IS as helpful to the great array of stained glass 
as are the coloured windows to it. Each helps the 
other to produce as harmonious a bower of light 
as one can anywhere see. Strangely enough, there 
IS none of the usual jarring contrasts between the 
I6th century windows and their neighbours of the 
15th century. The same warm colour scheme 
sweeps round the church from one side to the 
other, even where, as in the apse, it is obvious 
that modern glass has been used to eke out whole 
sections of the huge embrasures, the old patterns 
and colours having been followed in an unusuaUy 
reverent manner. The result is an harmonious 
whole-a well-attuned chant in melodious tone and 
tmt that echoes all about us. You will see finer 
individual windows in many another church, but it 
IS rare to come upon such a gratifying sense of 
undisturbed continuity of colour scheme, and that 
too m such amazing quantity. Indeed, the pro- 
portions of the edifice are so ample that an ordinary 

161 „ 



r t 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

amount of stained glass would have been lost in 
Even the side aisles are lofty enough to have bi 
the naves of most cathedrals, while so broad is 
space upon which we enter that we are at f 
deceived as to the unusual height and breadth 
of the embrasures. Large as these are, they 
exceeded by the lavish proportions of the hi 
windows that stand at the east behind the h 
altar. Of these latter, each has twelve lane 
crossed by a graceful Gothic transom. The wh 
expanse of each window is broken up into a sei 
of small, scenes one above the other — eleven 
some lancets and ten in others, depending on wh 
the transom happens to cross. These transoms 
used to assist the effect of most of the windc 
in the church, and general also is this system 
glazing in small scenes. These little groups 
almost exclusively used on the south side of i 
nave, but opposite, on the north side, some of i 
pictures are carried right across the embrasu 
regardless of the interruption of the mulli( 
dividing it into separate lancets. In order to g 
more light at the western end of the nave, cl( 
by where one enters, only the lower half of i 
three most westerly windows on each side are gla; 

162 



Milan 

in colour d,e upper hdv« being giv.„ over ,o 
^"loumJ panes. All these „,ve embrasures have 
the Go.h,c transom running across then, that we 
no .ed ,n the apse. The t^nsepts are as elabo- 

o7 h' T r"'"™"''' Sl^cd as the other parts 
of the church. We commence to realize the great 
l-cght of the interior when we look up at the 
clerestory lights, and notice that they are so 
d.sunt that we are unable to distinguish their 
d".gns and must needs be content with their 
satisfying colour. 

Upon the long series of lancets that compass 
- about on aU sides there is set forth such a 
bewJdenng array of Bible stories that it seems 
almost ,nv,dious to the others to attempt to de- 
^cnbe a^y one. Certain pictures representing 
med.^ shipping strike the eye at once, and thei! 
"amtnaf on makes clear that ocean navigation ha, 
progressed mo„ rapidly than the art of making 
beaufftl „.„d„„„ The use of deep reds and 
blue, ,n the nave impresses one. as indeed does the 
general note of warm and rich tones throughout. 
Ihe ,6A century glass here conspicuously lacks 

explains why „ harmonizes so well with the deeper 

163 



Dm 



m 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

tones of its 15th century neighbours. One woi 

almost conclude that the 1 6th century glaziers w 

purposely warned to refrain from the excessive 1 

of yellow stain and grey in which they so delight 

We should also note the instances where 

designers declined to allow the structure of 

window to interfere with their artistic expressi 

Generally they permitted the mullions and i 

bars to restrict them to small pictures, and in 1 

event to frame them, but sometimes they absolul 

disregarded these architectural intrusions, and spr 

their story right across an embrasure regardless 

where the stone or iron lines might cross it. Hi 

ever, it is clear to us moderns that these mer 

the Middle Ages thoroughly understood the medi 

in which they worked, for their effects possess t 

charm and excellence. 

The Certosa of Pavia, 30 kilometres awa) 
the south, is not the only excursion which lures 
out into the country that lies about Milan. Sarc 
is distant only 25 kilometres to the north-v( 
and in its pilgrimage church, precious for 
masterpiece of Luini, and Gaudenzio's deligh 
choir of angels, is an interesting 15th cent 
window. "While it must be admitted that 

164 



taly 

)ne would 
ziers were 
essive use 
delighted, 
irhere the 
re of the 
;xpressicn. 
and iron 
nd in that 
absolutely 
and spread 
vardless of 
it. How- 
:se men of 
he medium 
assess both 

es away to 
:h lures us 
1. Saronna 
north-west, 
IS for the 
delightful 
th century 
I that the 







! 


i 

i 
i 

i 

I 'siL 


^7 


i 

r 



Milan 

glass ^onc i, not of sufficient importance to lure 
us so far afield, nevertheless, taken in combination 
with the admirable frescoes which adorn the walls 
about .t. reason enough is given for a day out^f- 
doors in level Lombard/. 



H 






r 



m^v 



CERTOSA DI PAVIA 

THERE are few men who are not mi 
interesting than their monuments, s 
this is unquestionably true in the case 
Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Mi 
from 1385 to 1402, great as the compliment } 
seem to those who have visited his chief monum< 
the Certo^a of Pavia, located five miles from Pavia 
the road to Milan. An odd-shaped, shrewd heac 
his, as it appears painted on the wall of the se 
circular apse of the south transept, where, on 
knees, he is oflfcring a model of the Certosa 
the Virgin. And the promise of his head is bo 
out by the story of ' 's life. Boldly strong w 
force was needed, a yet at other times 
stealthily guileful a. any man could be who, 
he, lacked physical courage in an age when 
was almost the oily common virtue A \ 
chameleon of statecraft, and yet withal a man ' 
read and pondered much, as befitted the re\ 
of learning, which was then becoming so po 

166 



not more 
nents, and 
the case ot 
• of Milan 
iment will 
nonument, 
1 Pavia on 
wd head is 

the semi- 
!re, on his 
Certosa to 
d is borne 
Tong when 

times as 
! who, like 
; when it 
A ve7 
a man who 
the revival 

so potent 




I - 



Certosa di Pavia 

a ftctor in Italian development. One mu« not 
let the dash of arms which, during the MiddJc 
Ages, so constantly echoed up and down the 
peninsula, distract us from observing that at 
the same time men were busy bringing to light 
the hitherto neglected literary and artistic treasures 
of the Greeks and Romans, or that Plato, Homer, 
Virgil, and Aristotle were now being for the first 
time printed, and eagerly read. Most significant 
«s Jt that men like Boccaccio were studying Greek 
after having reached man's estate, so that they 
might participate in the literary feast newly spread 
from the store of the long-neglected ancients. 
Oian Galeazzo was among the first to join in this 
revival of learning, thus evidencing one of the 
many traits that sUmp him a leader of his time. 
Nor can he be charged, as can most of his con- 
temporaries, with being possessed of the vices, as 
weU as the virtues, of the Renaissance, for he 
was temperate and of a clean life. But how did 
he win his dukedom ? for inheritance was not 
then a sure tenure. It happei.cd :.; ~ „s wise. 
Upon his father's death his uncle and cousins 
decided to join in the division of the great herit- 
age, and as our hero found himself too weak to 

167 



A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

resist, he made a virtue of that weakness, and a 
fruitful virtue it proved. He retired to Pavia, 
his modest share of the patrimony, and left his 
uncle to lord it in Milan and the other cities of 
the duchy. Gian encouraged the generally pre- 
vailing idea of his weakness, and let it be under- 
stood that he was leaning towards religious fanat- 
icism. Meanwhile he quietly assembled a strong 
bodyguard of German mercenaries, foreigners who 
had no ties in Italy other than their allegiance to 
him, their paymaster. When the seeming security 
of his kinsman's position had had time to ripen 
into over-confidence, Gian announced his intention 
one day in 1385 of going on a pilgrimage to 
Varese. As his route passed near Milan his uncle 
and the rest of his usurping kin rode out to 
greet him. When he had them surrounded by 
his guards, he gave an order in German, the trap 
was sprung — they were all prisoners ! He rode 
on to Milan, readjusted the status quo by quite 
simply poisoning his uncle that night, and relieved 
the other members of his family of any further 
inconvenience from their estates. It was as com- 
plete as it was simple. His attention to the 
duties of government is a lesson to such modern 

168 



of 



to 

ity 



to 



to 
by 



the 




Certosa di Pavia 
official, as wish to carry out the pledges of the 
platform upon which they were elected. Symonds 
says, "His love of order was so precise that he 
may be said to have applied the method of a 
banker's office to the conduct of a State. It was 
he who invented Bureaucracy by creating a special 
dass of paid clerks and secretaries of departments. 
Their duty consisted in committing to books and 
ledgers the minutest items of his private expendi- 
ture and the outgoings of his public purse; in 
noting the details of the several taxes, so as to 
be able to present a survey of the whole State 
revenue." Chiefly is he known to posterity as 
the builder of the Certosa, or Qrthusian monas- 
tery, near Pavia. This must not be taken to mean 
that his successors did not add to his work, for 
the Certosa is a history in stone of the entire 
range of the Renaissance in Lombardy. But his 
is the credit for having created and endowed this 
beautiful group of edifices, and it stands as a 
monument to one of the reaUy great statesmen 
of the Middle Ages. So elaborate is the structure 
in every part, without and within, that there are 
some who claim that it is over-adorned, but not 
so we. However true it may be that one should 

169 



A Stained Glass Tour in July 

not paint a lily, let us insist thfit it is impossible 
to over-decorate anything built of stone, for every 
judicious stroke of the chisel tends to lighten the 
appearance of the weighty material, and lightness out 
of strength is architectural beauty. But even those 
who, like Des Brosses, writing in 1739, find the 
facade " a magnificent muddle of every imaginable 
ornament distributed without selection and with- 
out taste," are bound to admit with him that the 
interior "strikes one on entering by its magnifi- 
cence, fine proportions, its vaulting— one of the 
most satisfying things I have ever seen in my 
life." Were we to attempt to refer to its many 
fascinating features we would become lost in the 
maze of detail. The greater part of the stained 
glass is of the latter half of the 15th centur>'. 
The finest of the windows are by Cristoforo de 
Mottis and Stefano da Pandino. The former's 
best effort is in the old sacristy, representing St. 
Bernard and the demon, and thus dated, "opus 
Christofori de Motis I477," while in the chapel 
of San Siro the window depicting the Archangel 
Michael bears the legend, "Antonius de Pan- 
dinus me facit." Mottis is also known to have 
been the glazier of the San Gregorio Magno 

170 



Certosa di Pavia 

window in the transept, which bears many small 
buckets, the badge of Duke Galcazzo Maria 
Sforza, showing that it could not have been later 
than 1476. Another of his windows is that of 
the Annunciation in the first chapel on the right. 
Both Mottis and Pandino came to the Certosa 
after having proved their skill in the cathedral 
at Milan, where other members of Pandino's 
femily had glazed as well as he. Mottis's brother 
Jacopo was also engaged upon the stained glass 
at the Certosa, from 1485 to 1491. The problem 
of sufficient illumination has been handled just 
behind Gian's tomb in a pleasantly frank way — 
the coloured panes are stopped about a third of 
the way from the top, and white glass used 
above, reminding one of a custom dear to the 
Dutch. 

There are many memories lingering about 
Pavia. Our own Columbus studied at its Uni- 
versity about 1477, ^"^ there too was educated 
Lanfranc, later Bishop of far-away Canterbury. 
But the most outstanding episode of all is of 
course the femous battle of Pavia, where the 
royal invader Francis the First was defeated and 
taken prisoner. Tradition tells us that on the 

171 



\: 






A Stained Glass Tour in Italy 

evening of his capture he was taken into the 
Ccrtosa just as the monks in the choir were 
chanting 

« Coagulatum e«t, licut lac cor meum, 
Ego vera legem tuam mediutui turn," 

and that the unfortunate joined his voice with 
theirs when they came to 

** Bonum mihi quia humiliatti me 
Ut diicam juttiiicationct tuai.*' 



172 



A 



A REQUEST 

If, gende reader, the author has found favour in 
your sight, please evidence that gratifying state of 
mind by advising him (at the address below the 
Foreword) of any Italian glass, not herein reported, 
which you may discover in your rambles. 



»73 



•■■ - * i 



LIST OF TOWNS 



Showing the Epoc 


HS OF THBIR WlNDO 


ws 


Arezzo 


15th, i6th . 


rAct 
72 


Assist 


13th, 14th, 15th . 


SI 


Bologna 


15th, i6th . 


142 


Cortona 


i6th . 


63 


Florence 


14th, 15th, 1 6th . 


78 


Grosseto 


15th . 


141 


Lucca . 


15th . 


116 


Lucignano . 


i6th . 


71 


Milan . 


. 15th, i6th . 


157 


Monte San Savino 


i6th . 


71 


Orvieto 


14th, 15th . 


46 


Pavia (Certosa of) 


15th . 


166 


Perugia 


15th, 16th . 


• 53 


Pisa . 


15th . 


125 


Prato . 


. 15th . 


III 


Rome . 


. i6th . 


38 


San Miniato 


15th . 


lOI 


Saronno 


. 15th . 


. 164 


Siicina 


i6th . 


. 77 


Siena . 


14th, 15th, 16th 


• m 


Vald'Ema . 


. 15th, i6th . 


. 106 


Venice 


. 15th . 


. 150 



17+ 



5AII0NN09 



jl 



• Milan 

• Pavia 




•CCNOA 



BotOGNA • 




viNtec 



>6NA« 



^Prato 
• FLoneNCt 
SanMiniato SieciNA 



kM 



3AVV 



^ #C0RT0K4A 

. • .PEmiQA 

LUCKMMIO * ^ 



•Grosscto 




iOmvicto 




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